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Poire D’Eve

Poire D'Eve

I know, I know…no pictures of Lisa’s wedding cake yet, at least not today….One reason is that I have been saving this wonderful Poire D’Eve cake for a week now and another reason is that I have hundreds of pictures to go through from the wedding and a few other attendees have graciously allowed me to use their shots too so I am working on a little montage. I actually started writing about it yesterday and this morning tons of little details came rushing to my mind so I need to "sit" on it a couple more days to do it justice.

I can’t tell you how much your visits and excitement over this past week have meant to me and I promise to tell you all about it. As ubber critical me, I did find faults until both Lisa and Wayne decided to smear some cake on their noses, but I guess that is normal when you bake for such a dear friend…under the watch of other foodies….Thank you Kelly and Lisa for staying up late, talking to me while I was "spatulating" (new word) the same corner over and over again. Thank you K. for not taking that same spatula and knocking me over the head with it although your look was screaming "put that thing down….Now!!"

Allright, I will give something away about this cake. It was a three tiered square cake which bottom layer was Lisa’s mom favorite carrot cake filled with cream cheese frosting, the middle layer was Lisa’s favorite pumpkin cake with butterscotch filling from Marcel Desaulniers, and the top layer that the two lovebirds have kept and froze was Lisa’s Mothership Chocolate Cake adapted from Orangette. The whole cake was covered in her favorite Italian meringue buttercream from Jacques Torres. I don’t know if it was the near freezing temperatures, the beverages flowing a plenty or just good appetites, but at the end of the night there was just about half the carrot cake left…and I had made the cake for more than the accounted number of guests….I like when people are not shy to eat cake 🙂 Now that your teeth are shattering and your stomach growling, I hope you can wait until the weekend for the recap!!

Bavarian Mousse Ingredients

In the meantime, let’s share a slice of this pear cake, shall we? I forgot to mention the other day that the Chai Persimmon Tatin was inspired by one of my pastry heroes, Hidemi Sugino from his The Dessert Book that Inne graciously sent me last year and even though the recipes are translated, I tend to get inspired by the pictures and the dominant flavors and then change it around. This Poire D’Eve is also inspired by one of his creations, the Pomme D’Eve cake in his other book. Now, this one was given to me by a Japanes exchange student I met a couple of months ago and when we started talking about Japan, I mentioned Sugino and she had her mom send it to me….in Japanese. Needless to say, I once again looked at the picture of his mousse apple cake sandwich between sheets of caramel mousse, apple mousse, vanilla and chocolate genoise and decided to develop a recipe for its cousin, the Poire D’Eve.

I know, Eve ate an apple, not a pear…but if she had had a Forelle pear poached in spices such as star anise, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and folded with a light bavarian cream, she might have changed her mind. I liked the original apple cake mixing apple, caramel, chocolate so I decided to use these flavors in different texture contrast and medium for this cake. Like Eve and her apple, Forelles are my guilty pleasure when it comes to pears. It is similar in size to a Seckel pear and grows mostly in the Pacific Northwest. When I saw them popping up at the grocery store, I immediately bought a case. They are the perfect snacking pear, both in size and flavor since they remain firm and not milly for a long time. They fit in your pocket, purse or pocket and have this absolute tantalizing fragrance. I bought the case right before my trip so I did poach a bunch of them and preserved them in their poaching syrup. For this recipe I used some I had poached that day so I wrote the recipe accordingly.

Spiced Poached Pears Diptych

The base is a milk chocolate feuillantine topped with a salted butter caramel mousse and a vanilla bavarian cream with diced spiced poached pears throughout. Before applying a glaze made with the poaching syrup I gave the cake some brush strokes with some yellow pearl dust mixed with a bit of water. The finished cake got the two thumbs up from B. who is not that big of a pear fan and commented that the caramel and chocolate complimented the fruits very well. Trust me, he does not only say that because I cook him dinner….he is really my most severe critique!!

Do not be afraid at the term "feuillantine". It is a entremets or cake base usually made with crushed "crepes dentelle" cookies but I was out (ate too many with ice cream) so I substituted crushed corn flakes and added a bit of chopped hazelnuts to enhance the mousses and it worked like a charm. I used the same caramel mousse as the one used in The Translatique, minus the chocolate. The bavarian cream is as easy as 1-2-3 if you have a little patience since you start by making a creme anglaise, adding some gelatin and once cooled, folding in some whipped cream and the poached pears. The spices and strokes of gold dust were the touches that have me in full blown holiday mood right now!! As always, be reassured that you can prepare this step over a couple of days (my head is more scattered than ever these days so any "time" help is welcome)

Poire D'Eve

Poire D’Eve

Serves 8-10

For the poached pears:
4 small pears, Forelles or Seckels, skinned, cored and left whole
3 cups of water
1/2 cup sugar
4 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
one whole nutmeg
1/2 vanilla bean
4 cloves

Over high heat bring the pears, water, sugar and all the spices to a boil (leave the nutmeg whole). Reduce the heat to medium low heat and let the fruit simmer for 30 minutes or until just about fork tender. Remove the pears and put the liquid back on stove and let it reduce down to half its volume. Remove from the heat and strain all the spices. Reserve the liquid for the cake glaze.

For the Feuillantine:
5 oz (150 gr) milk chocolate
4 Tablespoons (55 gr) butter
1 cup (30 gr) corn flakes
2 oz (60 gr) toasted and skinned hazelnuts

Line a 8×8 square pan with aluminium foil and set aside (use a square pastry frame if you have one). Put the cornflakes and hazelnuts in a small freezer bag, close the seam and roll your rolling pin over it until finely crushed (do not run the mixture in the food processor, you want to keep some rough pieces). On top of a double boiler set over medium heat, melt together the chocolate and butter until they come together. Remove from the heat and stir in the cornflakes mixture. Immediately pat the mixture with your fingertips or the back of the spoon at the bottom of the line pan. Set aside while you prepare the mousses.

For the caramel mousse:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tb water
2 Tb salted butter, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, divided

Measure 3/4 cup of cream and refrigerate, this portion will be used to make whipped cream so keep it well chilled. In a microwave or small saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup remaining until it is fairly hot. It will be added to the caramel and by being hot it will prevent the caramel from seizing on you and clumping up. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the sugar to the water over medium high heat and cook, without stirring until you get a dark brown caramel. Take the pan off the heat and add the butter and 1/4 cream. It will bubble like mad but it will not run over….if the butter and cream are not cold the bubbling will be minimal and short lived. Stir with a wooden spoon to smooth the caramel if necessary. Let it cool to room temperature Whip the remaining heavy cream to soft peaks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream to the caramel to loosen it up and then add the remaining whipped cream. Spread over the feuillantine base and refrigerate until completely set.

For the Vanilla Pear Bavarian Cream:
4 poached pears (see above), chopped in small dices
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean
1 Tb powdered gelatin, sprinkled over 3 Tb water
1 cup heavy cream

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very pale. In the meantime, in a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk and the vanilla bean (split open and scraped over the milk) to a boil. Slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium low heat and cook until the cream coats the back of a spoon (as if making creme anglaise). Add the softened gelatin and stir until melted completely into the cream. Let cool to room temperature.
Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold it into the cooled cream base. Fold in the pear dices. Pour the mixture over the caramel mousse until set.

At this point you can skip the painting and glaze but it makes it all the more festive.
For the paint, mix some gold dust with water to make a "paint" and brush in small strokes over the cake. Freeze the cake before applying the warm glaze, do so even if you skip the painting so your mousse won’t melt.

Pear Syrup Glaze:
1/2 cup reserved poaching syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin, sprinkled over 1 Tablespoon water

Bring the poaching syrup to a boil, add the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature (if the mixture gels, warm up over low heat until barely melted again). Pour it over the frozen cake and let set in the fridge.
Cut through the cake with a knife dipped in hot water to prevent breaking the glaze instead of slicing through it.

Note: I have terrible manners as I keep forgetting to thank Cenk from Cafe Fernando and the DMBLGIT judges for awarding the Toasted Coconut and Berries Charlottes the overall first place in last month event. I am truly honored and thrilled!

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Rosa's Yummy Yums November 13, 2008 um 8:05 am

OMG, that dessert is fantastic! What refined flavors! Very pretty too!



Carina November 13, 2008 um 8:14 am

This looks ridiculously awesome.

Perhaps I can ignore the world and make a little Poire D’Eve this weekend.

Yes! The children can eat old cereal from under the stove! The husband can snack on the slice of ham from three weeks ago! I shall be making Poire D’Eve!

Snooky doodle November 13, 2008 um 8:31 am


Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 8:43 am

i also have the books of great pastry chef hidemi sugino and find it very kind of you to mention your source of inspiration even if there is no copyright on desserts! because not everybody has the same attitude of honesty and respect for the work of others rendons a cesar ce qui est a cesar!

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 8:55 am

beautiful beautiful beautiful as always the best food blog site on the net!!!!!!!!!!

Helene November 13, 2008 um 8:56 am

Anis: I’d pay to work for him!! I just look at his pictures and glance at the ingredients and then I let my imagination take over. Once you have the basic techniques under your belt, the world is your oyster!

Manggy November 13, 2008 um 9:07 am

Awesome! I’ve long wanted to try and make a Hidemi Sugino recipe. The Japanese patissiers sure love their cream desserts, don’t they? 😉 Thank you so much for this– it looks so elegant!
NO! I CANNOT wait till this weekend for the cake! Ha ha ha 🙂 Kidding! The way you described the layers is just so mouth-watering. I am sure it is beyond beautiful too! (Well, it was made from the heart, how can you go wrong?)

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 9:10 am

Helene, you cannot imagine how many times i made the same dream being in his pastry shop studying with the master! but like you i do not speak japanese but as he lived in france for so many years je peux peut etre tenter un cv en francais qui sait sky is the limit!

Christy November 13, 2008 um 9:12 am

Ahhh…that cake is calling out for me!!!

I know what you meant by spatulating the same corner over and over again. I’m guilty of such sins most of the time. I blame it on my marginally obsessive compulsive personality.

On the topic of forelle pears, your post came right on time. I saw some very pretty looking pears at the market on Tuesday and decided to get some. I kinda suspect they aren’t grown locally because pear season in almost over here. So thanks to you, I finally know what they are!

Such a beautiful cake….sigh, swoon….

Clumbsy Cookie November 13, 2008 um 9:24 am

Eve would go crazy for this dessert and forget about the apple right away! I can’t wait to see the cake!!!!!

Cannelle Et Vanille November 13, 2008 um 9:33 am

Love the name of this dessert! Made me smile! Although I really want to see the photos from Lisa’s wedding, I will be a good reader and wait patiently. In the meantime, I wouldn’t mind having some of this. Smooth mousse with the crunchy feuillentine… yum!

Botacook November 13, 2008 um 11:06 am

Whaouh magnifique, juste envie d’en déguster une part… 🙂

carolina @ patagonia gifts November 13, 2008 um 11:26 am

Oh Helen, thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I’m absolutely amazed by your blog. I love your photos and your exquisite writing details. I’ll keep coming here! xo

MyKitchenInHalfCups November 13, 2008 um 11:37 am

Tease tease tease but you’re right this is worth it. The part I have trouble with is the corn flakes – you’re going american on us 🙂 The pears seem divine here.

LizNoVeggieGirl November 13, 2008 um 12:31 pm

Divine dessert!!!

Ahh, so much excitement for you, Helen – can’t wait to read MORE! 🙂

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 12:42 pm

Lovely as always! How I wish I could grab that fork and take that bite!

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 12:48 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmm. I looks really great, the texture mix sounds terrific and I love colours too. Just the smell of spices for the poached pears makes me close my eyes and enjoy. Well, it’s just my imagination but I wish it was more than that. If a coud only taste a little bit…

Varina November 13, 2008 um 12:58 pm

Mmmm, I am especially intrigued by this caramel mousse, since I always think of caramel as quite heavy and gooey it would be interesting to try as a mousse.

Also, I am always trying to expand my vocabulary, so tell me, what is the French for spatulating 🙂

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 1:29 pm

You are a tease! But this is a worthy substitute for now. It does sound delicious and I have a couple of seckel pears I’d just love to use.

Eileen November 13, 2008 um 1:49 pm

Lovely, lovely… beautiful photos, too.

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 2:14 pm

So… you’ll like me Helen, since I’m not shy to eat cake, specially that yummy slice above.

Patricia Scarpin November 13, 2008 um 2:18 pm

I’m 100% Eve would go crazy over this fresh and beautiful dessert, Helen. Well, who wouldn’t? 🙂

I love pears but don’t cook or bake much with them. That should change!

Sara November 13, 2008 um 2:29 pm

This looks delicious, I had my eye on some bright red pears at my local produce market the other day.

redmenace November 13, 2008 um 3:07 pm

This is absolutely lovely! I really enjoy your blog. Thanks!

The Short (dis)Order Cook November 13, 2008 um 3:23 pm

That was one of those instances where all I saw was the photo and I could just taste the sweetness and feel the creamy texture. It’s a gorgeous cake and every layer of it looks delicious on it’s own.

*Sigh* I wish Sir Pickypants liked pears.

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 3:47 pm

Yum! Love Pears in desserts! Also can’t wait to see the lovely wedding cake!

Maria November 13, 2008 um 3:52 pm

This dessert looks fantastic and I still can’t wait to see the wedding cake! Take your time though we all know you have been busy!! Thanks for the teasers:)

Mallory Elise November 13, 2008 um 3:53 pm

holy cow that’s amazing.

Finla November 13, 2008 um 4:11 pm

Wow they looks so good and so much different stages to make them. Still i am sure they were yummy

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 4:16 pm

Grogeous photographs! and the recipe sounds delicious helen!

Mary November 13, 2008 um 4:24 pm

This cake looks absolutely lovely! I am so intrigued by it that I’ve bookmarked it and may work up the nerve to make it next time I go to my mom’s.

I’m so excited to hear about Lisa’s wedding cake too!

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 4:34 pm

All good things are worth the wait and that cake was definitely delicious. Also can’t wait to see what you do w/ the montage! How fun. Nope, didn’t want to yank the spatula from your hand while you were spatulating (ahhahahaha) but mesmerized watching a repetitious process w/ something so minute. Loved it. On the pears — yum! I poached apple pears recently so if this is anything like mine, they’re swoonable. Such a delicate and beautifully spiced flavor. This sounds soooooo delicious with that base. You gotta like cereal in a pinch!

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 4:50 pm

Wow, Tartelette. The name in and of itself is amazing. Beautiful photos, as always!

Lucy..♥ November 13, 2008 um 5:01 pm

What a beautiful sophisticated dessert, just delish!!

cindy* November 13, 2008 um 5:06 pm

helen…this is gorgeous, you have to know that. well done adaptation!

Cakespy November 13, 2008 um 5:14 pm

You’re forgiven for the lack of wedding cake photos, because this is simply gorgeous and amazing. I’m intrigued by this cake!

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 6:35 pm

Awesome stuff. What an incredible, refined, amazing looking dessert.

Lori November 13, 2008 um 6:59 pm

I cut and paste a lot of your recipes. I label them Tartelette, I have now come to label them "who else". You are my go to blog! When I want to make something elegant. Who do I turn to? You. Cant wait to hold your book in my hands.

Philo aux fourneaux – Blog culinaire November 13, 2008 um 7:42 pm

J’adore le parfum de la poire, cuisiné ainsi ça doit être une petite merveille en bouche

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 7:47 pm

Zut, mon anglais est bien trop basique pour comprendre cette recette, et toutes celles qui me font de l’oeil sur votre blog… Elle a l’air sublime, comme beaucoup d’autres… Il n’y a pas de version en francais ??? snif snif… Muriel ([email protected])

Helene November 13, 2008 um 7:54 pm

Muriel: merci de ta visite. Helas, avec les 4 boulots que j’ai en ce moment, je n’ai guere de temps pour traduire les recettes. J’espere avoir plus de temps apres l’hiver.

Ivy November 13, 2008 um 8:11 pm

Are you an Angel? Even in my wildest dreams I could not dream up some of the things you come up with. Absolutely stunning(as always).

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 8:46 pm

yummm.. looks like a very interesting recipe!

glamah16 November 13, 2008 um 8:54 pm

You just reminded me of a bag ofpears I have in the kitchen which I forgot about. You always blow me away with your creativity and creations. Cant wait for the post on the cake.

Mrs.French November 13, 2008 um 9:55 pm

I can taste everything through your blog..then I navigate away and I am sad and you have me wanting more…everything is this post sounds divine…thanks for sharing a bit about the wedding cake, can’t wait to hear and see more! xo t

Anonymous November 13, 2008 um 11:04 pm

Oh, how wonderful that looks! Very, I say.
Well I never would have known to substitute cornflakes for crushed crepes dentelle! Who’d guess that?

I am keen to see this wedding cake too! Sounds dreamy.

My Sweet & Saucy November 14, 2008 um 2:54 am

I think I have died and gone to heaven!!! This is my kind of dessert…the flavors are just fantastic!

wahdi November 14, 2008 um 4:18 am

Divine dessert!!! inspiring!!

That Girl November 14, 2008 um 5:06 am

Pears are so underrated.

Vera November 14, 2008 um 5:10 am

Helen, what a terrific dessert! Every component sounds so delicious!

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 5:28 am

Helen, you out did yourself on this – it looks fantastic!! I just read about a Pear tart, I am dying to make – maybe thanksgiving!

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 9:58 am

Another cliffhanger 😉
Lovely dessert with the poached pears, they must have had so much flavour after soaking in the poaching liquid.

Nic November 14, 2008 um 2:38 pm

This looks fabulous, but I can’t wait to see the cake, I’m dribbling with anticipation here!
Congrats on the DMBLGIT win, that was a great photo!!

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 4:05 pm

OMG! I think I just drooled all over my keyboard…Absolutely "magnifique"!

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 4:15 pm

The lighting for your photos is absolutely fantastic. Not to mention the subject matter!

::::Lula Boutique:::: November 14, 2008 um 4:20 pm

This all looks amazing!!

::::Lula Boutique:::: November 14, 2008 um 4:20 pm

This all looks amazing!!

Helene November 14, 2008 um 4:21 pm

Chiara: thank you! I am lucky to live in the South where there is plenty of sunshine and I am able to shoot in natural light. Believe it or not, there is too much of it sometimes!!
I have been asked to write about my set ups but I always feel a little uncomfortable about that since I am not a pro. Still shy, I guess!

Julia November 14, 2008 um 4:38 pm

I’m thrilled to pieces that you came by to visit me over at Red Otter! Without your note this morning I wouldn’t be here right now, enjoying this scrumptious post!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Julia November 14, 2008 um 4:38 pm

I’m thrilled to pieces that you came by to visit me over at Red Otter! Without your note this morning I wouldn’t be here right now, enjoying this scrumptious post!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 4:56 pm

This dessert is way out of my league, but your careful instructions and beautiful photos make me want to give it a try. Pear and caramel are two of my very favorite flavors. I’m saving this recipe and one weekend when I’m feeling especially adventurous, I’m going to attempt it!

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 6:58 pm

Hi It is an amazing blog and such wonderful photos. I love it.
Pey Chyi

Cakebrain November 14, 2008 um 7:37 pm

What a beautiful dessert!

Thip November 14, 2008 um 7:43 pm

I’m using forell for my spa’s dessert too, Helen. They’re firm and colorful–I like that.

Thip November 14, 2008 um 7:43 pm

I’m using forell for my spa’s dessert too, Helen. They’re firm and colorful–I like that.

Anonymous November 14, 2008 um 11:19 pm

C’est avec beaucoup de plaisir que j’irai déjeuner avec toi chez Soya, alors tu viens quand ?!!! D’ailleurs je veux bien une part de ce magnifique gâteau 😉

Kitchen M November 15, 2008 um 6:09 am

That’s a lot of recipes in one dessert. Looks amazing!
I can’t wait to see the picture of wedding cake. 🙂

Anonymous November 15, 2008 um 7:47 am

Ca fait mal aux yeux tellement ca fait envie! Encore une fois tu m’epate!!

aforkfulofspaghetti November 15, 2008 um 11:21 am

What a fabulous recipe. I’d love to bookmark it, but unlike you, I’m not sure I’d have the patience ever to make it.

Fantastic pics.

Bonbon Oiseau November 15, 2008 um 12:35 pm

looks gorgeous…you are so talented!!!

Inne November 15, 2008 um 2:32 pm

Can’t wait to see that wedding cake, Helen, it sounds absolutely delicious. But in the meantime, the poire d’eve will do, it looks gorgeous. I have the other Hidemi Sugino book as well, but haven’t yet been brave enough to start baking from it…

Rachael Hutchings November 15, 2008 um 6:27 pm

I LOVE the name of this one! Again, I should just stay away from your blog while I’m pregnant because I think you may be the cause of 10 extra preggo pounds. Sigh.

Congrats BTW on your DMBLGIT win, you totally deserve it!

Anonymous November 15, 2008 um 6:41 pm

Helene, another wonderful post! This cakes looks divine!

Liska November 15, 2008 um 6:44 pm

It looks beautiful. I’m wondering how tasty it must be.

Anonymous November 15, 2008 um 7:19 pm

As someone who had the priviledge to taste it, I can tell you all that it was divine! Light and so flavorful with the spiced pears, a great texture contrast!
Thank you dear neighbor…we will miss you when we move 🙁

Anonymous November 16, 2008 um 12:56 pm

Wonderful, elegant, complex and I would so break my diet for a slice of this dessert! Actually, I would break my diet for a slice of any of your desserts.

Jen Yu November 18, 2008 um 2:03 am

Sheesh! Everything you make looks like it is made of clouds, or jewels, or pillows 🙂 I just want to dive in and take a nap (and I hate to sleep!). I will have to try your pear bavarian cream – I think J-man will love it. xxoo

Anonymous December 12, 2008 um 4:00 pm

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love the feuillantine base, and frankly the whole thing is bringing back happy memories of the pear bavarian charlotte I made last Christmas 🙂

Anna April 14, 2016 um 10:06 pm

I plan to make this for a gathering next weekend, though this would be one of my harder undertakings! Is there a way you'd recommend splitting this up? The crust and mousse one day, the rest the next day in the morning so it has time to set?

Helene April 14, 2016 um 11:11 pm

Anna: yep, sounds like a good plan!

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