Inspiration: Sarah Barber


We have presented Sarah Barber, the super talented head pastry chef of the ME hotel already some months ago. You can read the interview here. Following her work I deeply admire her creations which are not just full of wonderful flavours but also stunningly beautiful.

What does chocolate mean for you?

Chocolate is a key ingredient in my kitchen, we use it many forms in desserts, entremets, petit gateaux, pralines, showpieces … the list is endless. I enjoy working with chocolate due to the different varieties of blends and types, how using one chocolate compared to another changes the whole balance and composition of a dessert, as well as the many forms in which you can create and work with it.

When creating a new dessert with chocolate I aim to not make it too sweet and to taste of the actual main components. You should be able to taste all the elements that are involved and not let the entire dessert be overpowered by sweetness.

Photo: courtesy of Sarah Barber

Why have you chosen this dish? What is in your opinion so special about it?

I have chosen this dish because it not only tastes great but it’s also visually eye catching. I like the style and presentation of the plating and the combination of all these flavours work well together.

What has inspired you to create it? How was it born?

This dessert was created for my book “Patisserie Perfection” which is scheduled to be published in September this year. We previously have had several strawberries and cream desserts on the menu, this is just a modern twist on those classical flavour combinations.

Does it require any special technique?

The dessert is technical, how you fill the moulds with the mousse, the lightness of the spray and the finesse in the presentation. Like all desserts, attention to detail and presentation is key however the most important factor is that they taste as good as they look.

What was the special challenge with it?

I would say the challenge with this dish is the finishing of the sphere mould, the consistency of the mousse is crucial so the insert sits directly in the centre of the mould, also the cleaning of the sphere and the spraying of the mousse.

Please describe your dish.

This dessert is my modern take on strawberries and cream. It is composed of a wild strawberry mousse with a white chocolate, vanilla and lemon centre. Served with poached wild strawberries, meringue sticks and dehydrated strawberry powder. It’s sprayed with a strawberry scented chocolate spray mix. I use chocolate on the dish however when you taste the dessert it is not the overpowering flavour and it is used in harmony to balance the dessert.

Which chocolate did you use and why?

I used Cacao Barry Zephyr 34% white chocolate. It’s a slightly less sweeter chocolate, I used this in part of the insert and also the spray mix.

Any final message for our readers?

Be creative as much as you can and always push yourself to learn more… there is always new techniques to learn when working with chocolate.

This dessert was made for Sarah’s Book PatisseriePerfection