Summer chocolate by Helen Vass
If you think that chocolate isn’t the right ingredient for the summer, you may want to think about it once again … Some of the great British pastry chefs may prove you are wrong by presenting really lovely summer creations … made with chocolate. Yes, summer is not over yet - meterologists are prognosing a terrible heat wave, so be prepared by knowing where to enjoy the most indulging refreshing summer desserts with chocolate.
Helen Vass. Photo: Debbie Pipe
Helen Vass, the young Scottish star of Bake Off: Creme de la Creme, is very active also in the summertime.
This month she has prepared two chocolate desserts. One is made of dark chocolate cremeux, vanilla salt, olive oil ice cream and sourdough toast and the other from white chocolate cremeux with raspberry coulis and forest fruits. Both are modest, however by using the excellent Cacao Barry chocolate and other high quality ingredients, the real flavour profile comes through. The ideal chocolate for the dark chocolate cremeux is the Cacao Barry Madirofolo chocolate which pairs really well with olive oil and the sourdough toast. This dessert was inspired by Helen’s Barcelona experience where children are typically served with chocolate, olive oil and bread as an afternoon snack and so she decided that this could make a really good dessert. “I love the taste of it and the guests at Number 16 restaurant have been pleasantly surprised with this dish!”
The white chocolate cremeux is another simple dessert but in this case made with Cacao Barry Zephyr white chocolate which is great for this dish because it is not too sweet and is really very creamy. This lovely cremeux is served with raspberry coulis and forest fruits and really showcases the great berries that are now in season in Scotland. “Guests love this dish because it is not too sweet and it goes really well with the fruit,” says Helen.
Helen is also sharing her white cremeux recipe. Top it with some coulis and fresh fruits and you have a perfect summer dessert:
Recipe white chocolate cremeux
250g whole milk - 250g whipping cream - 50g egg yolk - 2 sheets gelatine - 290g Cacao Barry Zephyr white chocolate - 1 Vanilla pod
Hydrate the gelatine in water. Heat the milk, cream and vanilla pod together. When it starts to warm, whisk over the egg yolks, return to the pot and cook until it reaches 82ºC. Add the gelatine and pour over the white chocolate. Emulsify with a hand blender and then pour in a tub, put cling film on contact and leave to crystallise for 12 hours.
This month Helen is also getting ready for a sweet pop-up which will happen in October in Glasgow - the desserts for this lovely project were inspired by her time working as a pastry chef in Barcelona and will be served with Spanish wines specially imported from Spain for this event. Helen will serve the desserts and talk about them in an informal environment. Would you like to book? You can do it here.