Pistachio praliné, cherry and orange blossom Petit Gateaux

by Chiara

Orange blossom water is one of those unique, incredible ingredients that you will often find in many Middle Eastern desserts, sometimes combined with pistachios. They are my all-time favorite nuts and I love how their delicate yet earthy taste pairs amazingly with the scented floral notes of orange blossoms.
I combined the two together to create some little (gluten-free) cakes that offer a delicious taste of Middle Eastern.

The recipe would not be completed without cherries and Mahleb, which is my favorite spice to add to desserts. It is extracted from a wild black cherry mostly cultivated in the Mediterranean regions and its fruitiness and almondy scent blends in with all the other flavors.

As a result this recipe captures all the flavors of the Middle East beautifully and it is a delicately sweet treat that is especially perfect for summer day!

With this recipe you make 4 gluten-free petit gateaux of 12 cm diameter. These are the main components:

  • Gluten-free pistachio praliné croustillant
  • Gluten-free Mahleb, orange blossom and cherry financier
  • Cherry crémeux (egg-free)
  • Pistachio praliné and orange blossom mousse
  • Pistachio praliné mirror glaze
  • Pistachio crunchy coating

If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram. I’d be more than happy to hear from you all. Seeing your creations makes me the happiest person beyond everything!
And, of course, if you have any questions or doubts about this recipe and/or pastry techniques in general, feel very free to write me. I’ll do my best to respond you as quickly as possible ♡

Pistachio praliné, cherry and orange blossom Petit Gateaux

Cookies and pastries Pistachio praliné, cherry and orange blossom Petit Gateaux European Print This
Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Gluten-free Mahleb, orange blossom and cherry financier
70 g butter
28 g raw almonds butter
26 g orange blossom honey (or acacia honey)
78 g (vanilla) icing sugar
33 g potato starch (or cornstarch)
2 g gluten-free baking powder
70 g raw almonds flour
7,5 g (1 tsp + ½ tsp) ground Mahleb (optional, sub it with few drops of almond extract)
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Maldon salt
106 g egg whites, to room temperature
28 g orange blossom water
150 g cherries, pitted and halved

Gluten-free pistachio praliné croustillant
60 g finely chopped raw almonds
15 g maple syrup (grade C, preferably)
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Maldon salt
30 g pistachio praliné 42% (Valrhona or homemade vanilla pistachio praliné 60%)
10 g pistachio butter (100% raw pistachios)
40 g Almond Inspiration couverture (or the good quality white chocolate of choice)

Cherry crémeux (egg-free)
185 g cherry puree
8 g lemon juice
8 g acacia honey
38 g cane sugar (or caster sugar)
3 g pectin NH
8 g cornstarch
57 g soft butter, to room temperature (20-22°C)

Pistachio praliné and orange blossom water mousse 
4 g gelatin sheets, Gold strength (200-220 Bloom)
20 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
66 g unsweetened almond milk (or cow's milk 3,5% fat content)
44 g orange blossom water
216 g pistachio praliné 42% (Valrhona or homemade vanilla pistachio praliné 60%)
20 g (1 Tbs + 1 tsp) natural green food coloring powder
432 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold

Pistachio praliné mirror glaze
144 g unsweetened almond milk (o cow's milk 3,5% fat content)
152 g caster sugar
152 g glucose syrup 40 DE
10 g gelatin sheets, Gold strength (200-220 Bloom)
50 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
96 g Ivoire 35% white chocolate (or the good quality white chocolate of choice)
76 g pistachio praliné 42% (Valrhona or homemade vanilla pistachio praliné 60%)
112 g Absolu Cristal (neutral gelatin)
15 g (1 Tbs) natural green food coloring powder

Pistachio crunchy coating
325 g Ivoire 35% white chocolate, green colored
175 g cocoa butter
60 g finely chopped pistachios

Assembly and decoration
white currants
edible flowers

Instructions

Gluten-free Mahleb, orange blossom and cherry financier

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, ventilation mode. Line a micro-perforated baking tray with Silpat mat and place onto a 23x23 cm square cake mould (greased with butter and lined with parchment paper). 
  2. Make the brown butter (the beurre noisette). Place pieces of butter into a saucepan and let melt over medium heat. Don't stir the butter, it is not needed. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle. In about 3-4 minutes from when you started, the butter will turn golden brown. The foam will slightly dissolve and the milk solids on the bottom of the pan will toast and get brown. The butter should also smell intensely nutty and caramelized. 
  3. Once the butter is ready, remove the saucepan from the heat and filter the butter through a cheese cloth, previously placed into a stainless steel sieve, to remove the brown milk solids that are formed at the bottom of the saucepan. Add in the almonds butter and honey and combine well with a rubber spatula. Leave aside at room temperature.
  4. In a bowl, sift together icing sugar, potato starch and baking powder. Add in the almonds flour, Mahleb and salt and mix by hand with a fine whisk.
  5. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Add ⅓ of whipped egg whites to the batter and mix vigorously with a rubber spatula in oder to lighten up the batter. No worries to deflate the air of the egg whites at this stage. Add the leftover egg whites in 2 times, folding gently with a scooping-and-folding motion at this time. The batter shall be smooth and slightly fluffy.
  6. Add in the mix of brown butter, while folding gently with the spatula, until the batter looks homogeneous. 
  7. Pour all the batter into the mould. Scatter the pitted and halved cherries all over the batter. Bake for approximatively 20-25 minutes, or until the financier looks golden-brown, puffed, firm and dry to touch.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting 4 circles with a Ø 10 cm cookie cutter. I suggest to place the financier in the freezer for about 1h (or 30 minutes in the blast freezer) before cutting it, so that it will be easier to cut. Store the financier discs wrapped in clingfilm in the freezer until assembly.

Gluten-free pistachio praliné croustillant 

  1. Preheat the oven to 155°C, ventilation mode. Line a micro-perforated baking tray with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the finely chopped almonds with maple syrup and salt, ensuring that almonds are well coated with the maple syrup. Spread the mix onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until the almonds are caramelized and the maple syrup is reduced.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down at room temperature.
  4. Melt Almond Inspiration in the microwave to 45°C. Add in both pistachio praliné and pistachio butter and stir with the spatula. Add in the caramelized almonds and stir well, ensuring that they're well coated with chocolate. 
  5. Line a baking tray with Silpat mat and place on top a Ø 10 cm cookie cutter. Spread the croustillant into the cookie cutter, ensuring to make an evenly layer of about 2 mm thick. Press the croustillant with the back of a teaspoon, to get an homogeneous and flat surface. Lift up the ring and repeat the same steps until obtaining 4 discs of croustillant. Freeze until assembly. 

Cherry crémeux

  1. In a saucepan, bring to 30°C the cherry puree, lemon juice and honey. 
  2. Meanwhile, mix sugar, pectin NH and cornstarch, using a fine whisk. Add this mixture to the warm puree once it is 30°C and mix with the fine whisk to let the mixture of sugar-pectin-starch dissolve into the liquids.
  3. Bring to boil and cook for around 1 minute to medium heat, mixing continuously with the whisk, until the cream starts to become thick. 
  4. Transfer into a mixing glass and allow to cool down to 50°C (optionally, place the mixing glass in the fridge for faster times). 
  5. Once the cream is at 50°C, add in cubes of soft butter and emulsify with the hand blender to get a really smooth and silky crémeux.
  6. Transfer the crémeux into a small baking dish and chill in the fridge for minimum 12h (overnight).
  7. Pipe the chilled and thickened crémeux on top of each 4 financier circle, forming a spiral of 0,5 cm thick. Smooth out the crémeux with a small palette knife and freeze until assembly. 

Pistachio praliné and orange blossom mousse

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  2. Place the pistachio praliné into a bowl and add in the sifted green food coloring.
  3. Heat almond milk with orange blossom water in the microwave without bringing to boil, then add in the soaked gelatin sheets and stir through with a rubber spatula until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Pour the milk over the pistachio praliné in 3 times, while stirring with a spatula, in order to obtain a smooth cream and to let the food coloring to dissolve. 
  5. Transfer the cream into a mixing glass and emulsify with the hand blender to stabilize the emulsion and to obtain the best and most silky smooth consistency. Transfer the cream into a bowl and leave to cool down to 35-37°C.
  6. Semi-whip the cold heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Check the temperature of the pistachio praliné cream: when it is 35-37°C add in the semi-whipped cream in 2-3 times, folding gently with a rubber spatula in order to obtain a light, smooth and shiny mousse.
  7. Line a baking tray with 4 round silicone moulds of Ø 12 cm x H 4 cm (Kalipso 450 mould from Silikomart). Divide the mousse into the moulds, then set inside the frozen insert composed from croustillant, financier and crémeux (with the crémeux downwards, touching the mousse, and the croustillant upwards) and press it gently and slightly down so that the croustillant is level with the top of the mould.
  8. Using a palette knife, remove any excess mousse and place in the freezer. If you’re using a domestic freezer, it will take approximately 3 hours to freeze. If you’re using a blast freezer, it’ll take approximately 50 minutes. 

Pistachio praliné mirror glaze 

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in 50 g cold water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place both the white chocolate (not melted) and pistachio praliné into a mixing glass.
  3. Heat almond milk, caster sugar and glucose syrup in a saucepan to 104°C.
  4. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Emulsify with the hand blender without adding air bubbles and in order to obtain a smooth, shiny and almost fluid glaze.
  5. Heat the Absolu Cristal in the microwave to 65°C and add into the glaze, followed by the drained gelatin sheets (add only the gelatin sheets and not the soaked water). Emulsify once more without adding air bubbles. Add in the food coloring and emulsify once again to enhance the green color of the glaze. 
  6. Pass the glaze through a sieve and pour into a baking dish. Cover with clingfilm pressed on top of the glaze and chill in the fridge for minimum 12h (overnight).
  7. Heat the glaze in the microwave until the sides are melted and soft but the centre is still firm. Transfer the glaze into a mixing glass and emulsify with the hand blender, ensuring the blade is submerged in the glaze and not showing, to avoid air bubbles. Blend until the glaze is fully melted and looks shiny and homogeneous.
  8. Place cling film on the surface of the glaze and cool it to 27°C. You can place the glaze in the fridge or take it at room temperature, checking the temperature every now and them. As this glaze has a more fluidity, it is very important to use it at a lower temperature than a classic mirror glaze recipe. If you use it at a higher temperature (for example, 32-35°C, which is the classic temperature of usage of chocolate-based mirror glaze), the glaze will slide off the mousse and, as result, the edges will be visible.  
  9. In the meantime, cover the working surface with two sheets of clingfilm, slightly overlapping. They will serve to collect the excess glaze. Place onto a cooling rack.
  10. Once the glaze is 27°C, remove the petit gateaux from the freezer and unmould. Place them onto the cooling rack and pour the glaze over each petit gateaux ensuring that it’s fully covered. Wipe off any excess glaze on top of the petit gateaux with a flat palette knife, angling it slightly and lifting it up at the edge. Allow the glaze to drip over the clingfilm sheets.
  11. Once the glaze stops dripping, place two toothpicks into the centre and use them to pick up the petit gateaux. Gently scrape the bottom of the petit gateaux on the metal rack to remove any excess glaze. 
  12. Dip the petit gateaux into the crunchy coating (see instructions below), then place in the fridge to defrost.

Pistachio crunchy coating 

  1. Melt the white chocolate with the cocoa butter in the microwave to 45°C. 
  2. Add in the finely chopped pistachios and stir. 
  3. Transfer the glaze to a jug with a diameter just slightly wider than the petit gateaux. Let the glaze to cool down to 30-32°C.
  4. Once the crunchy coating reaches the right temperature, firstly glaze the petit gateux with the mirror glaze (as described above), then gently dip each petit gateaux into the crunchy coating, at just under half the height of the petit gateaux.  
  5. Gently scrape the bottom of the petit gateaux on the parchment paper or silicone mat to remove any excess glaze and place in the fridge.

Assembly and decoration

Garnish each petit gateaux with white currants and edible flowers. 

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