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Monday, December 18, 2006
Fétichiste, moi? – Emotion infiniment vanille

[Fetishist, me? – Emotion infiniment vanille]

Inspired by Pierre Hermé and adapted from:
Lisa Yockelson’s babas, Damien Pignolet’s chiboust and Bill Granger’s panacotta

Since I saw a television program about vanilla the other day, my dormant love for this delicate spice has been stimulated and definitely awaken.

There must be something unique about this plump, dark and oily pod; which makes it a fetish for every food lover.
Pierre Hermé says nothing less than ‘j’aime la vanille pour la pureté de son goût’ and it shows: November’s fetish collection was all about vanilla; from macarons to tartes, from éclairs to émotions.
Mais pourquoi faire simple quand on peut atteindre la perfection?
Because perfection there is: Pierre Hermé created a blend of three different vanilla types to achieve the perfect ‘goût vanille maison’.

Les vanilles

beloved Bourbon vanilla beans

La vanille du Mexique – Vanilla planifolia
It seems logical to start with mexican vanilla as it’s considered to be the ‘mother of all vanillas’.
Indeed, the first vanilla crops were found in Mexico where the Aztec would call it tlixochtitl - black flower.
Back to the kitchen, Mexican vanilla is creamy and sweet with woody undertones and has lots of seeds; which makes it perfect for uncooked puddings: from blanc-manger to ice creams.

La vanille de Madagascar – Vanilla bourbon (though, scientifically Vanilla bourbon is the same specie as Vanilla planifolia)
This one is perhaps the most sold over the world.
I guess its strong and rich vanilla flavour and its fat pod are the reasons for this success.
I am myself a self-proclaimed addict of bourbon vanilla – I throw it in nearly everything and the results are always lovely. Especially with baked goods; while with other vanillas the flavours can be altered by high temperatures, the strength of bourbon beans makes for a beautifully perfumed cake/bread...

La vanille de Tahiti - Vanilla tahitensis
I have a strange relationship with Tahitian vanilla – although it’s very different from the two species mentioned above I really like it.
Do you think the fact that my mother was born in Papeete has got something to do with it?
The pods are short and very plump (due to high water content – almost 35%) and have a pleasing floral and fruity fragrance. In few words: perfect with fruits – as part of a glaze brushed over the juicy berries of a tart or in syrup poured over a freshly-baked baba to serve with a dollop of whipped cream and caramelised pineapple slices.

Emotion infiniment vanille
This recipe is inspired by Pierre Hermé’s Emotion created for the Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection (14-26 nov. 2006).
As I had no recipe for it, I went ‘par-ci et par-là’ and came up with somewhat a recipe.
Yes, I know the actual Emotion has mascarpone in it – but I ran out of mascarpone so I went for the chiboust option and I’m glad I did as it brings creaminess to the whole thing.

It entremet is basically made of three layers (from top):
- Bourbon vanilla chiboust
- Bourbon vanilla baba infused with Tahitian vanilla syrup
- light Mexican vanilla 'gelée'

It’s not as time-consuming as the lengthy recipe suggests. You just need to prep up the things:
1. make the babas
2. while the babas are baking, make the vanilla syrup
3. make the vanilla gelée
4. make the crème patissière
5. make the Italian meringue and fold into the crème pâtissière to get a light yet creamy chiboust
6. ‘montage de l’Emotion’ = place each baba over the light vanilla gelée and top witn pipped chiboust

Emotion infiniment vanille
serves 6 (makes 6 x 170ml glasses)

1. for the baba
5g dried yeast
30ml tepid water (35°C)
1/4 tsp + 40g sugar extra
40g butter, melted and cooled down a little
1 egg
25g sugar
seeds from half a Bourbon vanilla pod
250g flour

Mix the yeast, water and 1/4 tsp of sugar. Stir well and let stand until the yeast swells.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg with the remaining sugar and vanilla. Mix in the melted butter. Combine the flour, a little at a time (fanny: more flour can be added if necessary) until you get a soft dough (fanny: it shouldn’t be sticky though).
Knead for 5 minutes and transfer to a well buttered bowl; loosely cover with foil and let the dough to rise at room temperature for an hour.
When doubled in size, lightly press the dough with the palm of your hand.
Butter and flour the inside of six cooking rings (of the same diameter as the glasses in which you’re going to serve your Emotions) or line them with baking paper.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball. Place a ball of dough at the bottom of each cooking ring; repeat with the remaining balls.
Allow to rise for another hour and preheat the oven to 180°C.
Bake the babas into preheated oven for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden. Transfer to a wire rack, unmould and place them in a deep baking dish and drench with vanilla syrup (fanny: try to coat them evenly).

2. for the vanilla syrup
240ml water
200g sugar
half a Tahitian vanilla pod

Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Slice the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds. Mix both the sliced pod and the seed to the syrup and simmer for 3 minutes until thickened but not coloured.

3. for the vanilla gelée
250ml semi-skimmed milk
40g sugar
2 leaves gelatine
seeds from half a Mexican vanilla pod
180ml single cream

Place the milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat, then bring to the boil before removing from the heat.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft. Squeeze out the excess water and drop the gelatine into the hot milk mixture and whisk until dissolved.
Add the cream and whisk until smooth.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and divide between six glasses (capacity of 170ml) and chill for at least three hours.

4. for the crème pâtissière
250ml milk
half a Bourbon vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
40g sugar
20g cornflour

Put the milk into a saucepan, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and ass to the pan along with the pod. Bring to the boil and set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until white and fluffy; mix in the corn flour.
Return the milk to the boil and beat into the egg mixture. Put this back into the pan and place over moderate heat.
Bring it to the boil, stirring constantly – until thick.
Place the crème into a bowl and mixing from time to time, bring it to room temperature.

5. for the vanilla chiboust
100g + 20g white sugar
50ml water
120ml egg whites (fanny: I used the three whites left after having made the crème pâtissière)
pinch of salt
1 quantity of crème pâtissière (see above)

In a sauce pan, place 100g of the sugar and water and bring to the boil.
When the temperature of the sugar syrup reached 110°C begin to beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff then add the remaining sugar.
As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 120°C (fanny: I usually spot this stage without a thermometer – the bubbles are smaller and the steam has disappeared), immediately add it to the meringue while beating continuously until the mixture cools down to room temperature.
Fold into the crème pâtissière and refrigerate for half an hour.

6. Montage des Emotions
For each glass, place a disk of soaked baba over the vanilla gelée, pressing down slightly in order to make it fit.
Place the chiboust in a piping bag (with a 1cm nozzle) and pipe it to cover the baba.
Chill for at least an hour.

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14 sweets:
Anonymous Anita said something sweet:

Gorgeous, Fanny! I notice that has a contest based on his vanilla-fetish theme, but my French is not quite good enough for me to get through all the rules and figure if only residents of France can enter. You should though - I would love a book autographed by Pierre Herme!

19 December, 2006 01:13 

Blogger Hélène (Cannes) said something sweet:

Je découvre ton joli blog et garde cette superbe recette de côté...Je repasserai !

19 December, 2006 07:58 

Anonymous eva said something sweet:

C'est une recette raffinée et je suis sûre que tu as obtenu également ce petit "goût vanille maison" ...

19 December, 2006 08:29 

Blogger Sigrid said something sweet:

Mmm.... superbe! Je suis passée plusieurs fois chez hermé pendant la période fétish vanille, ta verrine me semble absolument digne de figurar au catalogue ;-))

19 December, 2006 08:57 

Blogger ooishigal said something sweet:

c'est super chic Fanny,j'adore!

19 December, 2006 12:33 

Anonymous Melissa said something sweet:

Fanny, that looks incredible, and so elegant! Your Hermé-inspired creations always amaze me.

Merry Christmas!

19 December, 2006 17:47 

Anonymous bea at la tartine gourmande said something sweet:

Superb Fanny. Vanilla is definitely a beautiful scent you used here. If only I could taste it!

19 December, 2006 22:54 

Anonymous mickymath said something sweet:

merçi beaucoup Fanny! tu es si gentille!! ta recette est magnifique!! dommage que je ne comprend pas!!j'en prendrais!! passes de bonnes fêtes de fin d'années bises micheline

20 December, 2006 14:53 

Blogger Fanny said something sweet:

Hi Anita - I entered the contest just as you sugested. Will keep my fingers crossed...

Coucou Helene - merci, c'est adorable.

Coucou Eva - oui c'est vrai. Un gout de vanille innimitable.

Coucou Sigrid - oui j'ai vu tout ca sur le cavoletto; lucky girl you are!

Hi Marcia - t'est trop *sweet*. merci.

Hi melissa - thanks; i appreciate every single word from you.

Hi Bea - it seems we share a love for vanilla; i saw that wonderful post you wrote about a celery and vanilla mash. Pure heaven.

Coucou Micheline - merci pour tous tes gentils commentaires.


20 December, 2006 20:54 

Anonymous christell said something sweet:

Un pur délice ta verrine

22 December, 2006 15:46 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

I love these pictures and vanilla! Nice theme!

23 December, 2006 01:42 

Anonymous Marieke said something sweet:

Hi Fanny,

I adore vanilla and your excellent 'reportage' on the subject is a treat! I used to think vanilla pods were these dried out little sticks in the supermarket, until I too discovered the real ones!

Season's Greetings


23 December, 2006 16:49 

Anonymous Nicole said something sweet:

Absolutely beautiful, Fanny!

24 December, 2006 01:31 

Anonymous grignote et barbotine said something sweet:

Cette recette est magnifique.
Je découvre ton blog avec plaisir.

18 February, 2007 14:49 

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