Strawberry and pistachio is definitely one of my top favorite flavors combinations recently. I like to combine these two in tarts, cakes and all kinds of dessert and parfaits. This time I’ve decided to try and recreate a dessert I’ve tasted at Pierre Herme’s boutique in Paris; Montebello.
Montebello by Pierre Herme is made of a pistachio dacquoise crust (which is also gluten free). It’s filled with homemade strawberry jam, pistachio cream and fresh strawberries for decoration. It’s one of the most delicious desserts of this oh-so-creative French pastry chef. And if you ask me – it’s definitely one of his most popular entremets sold in his boutiques seasonally around the world.
So along with my friend Dvir, who’s also a pastry chef (and even worked for Pierre Herme right after graduating pastry school), we copycat the Montebello entremets and got these delicious beautiful cakes.
We decided to make them in two different variations of design, and you can definitely choose you own favorite way to decorate this cake.
Montebello - Strawberry and Pistachio Entremet
For pistachio cream:
- 250 ml. milk
- 20 grams pistachio paste
- 70 grams sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 25 grams cornstarch
- 50 grams butter
- 125 ml. heavy cream
For pistachio dacquoise:
- 115 grams almond meal
- 135 grams sugar powder
- 25 grams chopped pistachios
- 20 grams pistachio paste
- 150 grams egg whites
- 50 grams sugar
- Pinch of salt
- A little powdered sugar
- 20 grams chopped pistachios
For strawberry jam:
- 200 grams strawberries
- 70 grams sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2-3 tbsp. orange juice
- 500 grams fresh strawberries
- 20-30 grams roasted pistachios very finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. natural nappage
- 2 tbsp. boiling water
In a small saucepan whisk milk, 35 grams of sugar, pistachio paste and vanilla extract until blended. Heat to simmering point.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, 35 grams of sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
Pour about 1/3 of boiling liquid into the egg yolk mixture while whisking until blended.
Return the mixture to the pot with the remaining milk and continue to whisk over low heat until a thick and smooth pastry cream is formed.
Add butter and stir until incorporated.
Transfer the cream into a flat container and cover the surface of the cream with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until completely cold.
Transfer the cold cream into a bowl and whisk until it becomes creamy again.
Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks and gently fold into the pistachio cream until smooth.
Transfer the cream into a pastry bag fitted with 1 cm round piping tip and refrigerate until the train desserts.
Preheat oven to 170 Celsius degrees.
Arrange the baking rings (7 cm in diameter) on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Do not grease it in any way.
In a small bowl, mix ground almonds, sugar powder and chopped pistachios.
In a mixer bowl whip egg whites and salt. When white foam begins to form. Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until stable meringue forms.
Place the pistachio paste in a small bowl and mix gently with 3-4 tablespoons of meringue until smooth.
Add the pistachio mixture into the remaining meringue and fold with a spatula until smooth and stable. It is better to leave traces of egg whites other than "overthrow" the mixture too much.
Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag with 1 cm round piping tip and pipe inside each ring spiral shape on the base, and small dense droplets on the sides.
Sprinkle a little sugar powder and chopped pistachios on top and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and set.
Cool slightly at room temperature, and then cool in the freezer.
Using a sharp small knife, go through and around the sides of the baking rings to extract the base of the molds.
Cut the strawberries into quarters and put in a pot.
Add sugar, lemon zest and juice and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour, or until you get a thick jam.
Remove from heat and cool completely.
According to the desired design (see pictures), prepare the strawberries. Cut into small cubes if you want diced design, or cut into large quarters of you want "Santa Claus" design
Assemble the desserts:
Place about 1 tbsp. of jam in the center of each dacquoise
Drizzle pistachio cream over the jam.
Decorate with strawberries according to the preferred design.
Mix nappage and water in a small bowl and gently brush the strawberries.
Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve.
- The cakes are at their best on the day of preparation.
- You can make this recipe as one large cake about 22-24 cm in diameter. Baking time will be longer.
- Instead of strawberries you can use raspberries, cherries, blueberries and so on.
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