CNIEL – The French Dairy Board and the European Union have partnered with one of the world’s renowned pastry chefs, Claire Heitzler, to showcase to Middle East consumers why European cream is the perfect ingredient this festive season.
Chef Heitzler trained under her compatriot, renowned French Chef Ducasse in Tokyo, before putting her dessert expertise to acclaimed success at the Park Hyatt Dubai. The award-winning chef returned to Paris, where she led the pastry team at the Ritz and worked at French luxury bakery and sweets maker, LaDurée, before starting her own consultancy.
Long lauded for its many uses when creating everything from the simplest of desserts to a show-stopping cake, French dairy cream is 100% dairy so 100% natural. Chef Heitzler says, “French cream is my go-to when making desserts. I never could do pastry without French cream. This ingredient is at the base of everything I do, and we’re fortunate to have excellent quality dairy products in France thanks to our unique terroir and farming methods.”
French cream is used to enhance aromas and balance all kinds of flavours.
“One of the main qualities of French cream is it can help reduce the bitterness of cocoa, the acidity of lemon, temper certain fruits and the astringency of others, which makes it the perfect ingredient this festive season,” adds Chef Heitzler.
A range of French creams are available throughout the Middle East, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and can be found in local convenience stores and hypermarkets. Brands include Président, Elle & Vire, as well as Waitrose’s own brand which incorporates French crème fraîche and French crème, Candia or Paysan Breton.
How to prepare the perfect festive treat, the Pavlova – Chef Heitlzer’s recipe:
100g egg white
100g icing sugar
Beat the egg whites until stiff while progressively adding the powdered sugar. Once the eggs are in stiff, softly add the icing sugar with a spatula. Poach the meringue in a flower shape and cook for 10 min at 100 degrees, then 1 hour at 80 degrees.
250g French cream
1/2 vanilla pod
Cut the vanilla in two and peel it in the cream. Add the sugar and beat with the whisk.
Squeeze half of the raspberries with the sugar to obtain a marmalade. Fill the bottom of the meringue flower with marmalade. Add the fresh raspberries and lay a beautiful rose window with chantilly. Peel green citrus zest on the top of the Pavlova.