Nov 17, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Chocolate Vanilla Truffle-Tahitian Vanilla Bavaroise, Brown Butter, Caramel and White Soy Sauce, Vanilla Oil, Pine Cone Syrup

Alex Grunert's Chocolate Vanilla Truffle-Tahitian Vanilla Bavaroise, Brown Butter, Caramel and White Soy Sauce, Vanilla Oil, Pine Cone Syrup.

Alex Grunert, Top Ten Pastry Chef of 2016, presents his Chocolate Vanilla Truffle-Tahitian Vanilla Bavaroise, Brown Butter, Caramel and White Soy Sauce, Vanilla Oil, Pine Cone Syrup.


Yield: 20-25 servings

Alex Grunert, Pastry Chef, Brooklyn Fare Market, New York, NY.


Tahitian Vanilla Bavaroise:

  • 0.35 oz/10 g gelatin sheets
  • 11.8 oz/335 g whole milk
  • 3.5 oz/100 g granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 0.035 oz/1 g salt
  • 3.5 oz/100 g egg yolks
  • 11.8 oz/335 g heavy cream
  • 1 oz/30 g Cointreau

1. Bloom gelatin sheets in cold water. 

2. In saucepan, bring milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt to a boil. Temper yolks in hot milk mixture, heat to 181°F (83°C), and add gelatin sheets. Blend with immersion blender and cool down to 50°F (10°C). Add cream and Cointreau. Mature in cooler overnight. 

3. Whisk in stand mixer to soft peaks.

Pâte à Choux:

  • 5.3 oz/150 g water
  • 4.4 oz/125 g unsalted butter
  • 0.07 oz/2 g salt
  • 4.6 oz/130 g all-purpose flour
  • 7.4 oz/210 g whole eggs

1. In saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil; remove from heat and add flour. Stir until blended, return to heat and boil until it begins to form a crust on the bottom of the pan. Transfer to KitchenAid bowl and mix with paddle attachment at low speed to cool mixture down. Add eggs one at a time until combined. 

2. Pipe batter into 0.4” (10 mm) puffs on parchment-lined sheet pan. Place in 383°F (195°C) oven; turn temperature down to 356°F (180°C) and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool. 

3. Fill puffs with Vanilla Bavaroise Cream and freeze.

Spray Chocolate:

  • 24.7 oz/700 g 70% chocolate
  • 10.5 oz/300 g cocoa butter

Melt chocolate and cocoa butter separately, then mix together. Use spray when temperature is around 104°F (40°C).

Chocolate Mousse:

  • 3.5 oz/100 g heavy cream
  • 9.7 oz/275 g 55% milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 oz/30 g Grand Marnier
  • 1.9 oz/55 g pasteurized egg yolks
  • 11.28 oz/320 g heavy cream, whipped

1. In a saucepan, bring heavy cream to a boil. Add melted milk chocolate and Grand Marnier, blend and cool down to 95°F (35°C). 

2. Whisk yolks to ribbon stage, fold into ganache, then gently fold in whipped cream.

3. Pipe some chocolate mousse on plastic or foil, press a frozen puff into the mousse, close and shape into a ball. Shape so that the ball resembles a tomato. Repeat with remaining puffs and mousse, and freeze balls for a few hours. 

4. Once frozen, spray the balls with Spray Chocolate.

Walnut-Vanilla Oil:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Walnut oil

Scrape pulp from vanilla bean into a bowl. Add some walnut oil and mix well. Strain and pour into squeeze bottle.

Caramelized Cacao Nibs:

  • 6.7 oz/190 g granulated sugar
  • 2.1 oz/60 g water
  • 4.4 oz/125 g cacao nibs

1. Toast cacao nibs in oven at 350°F (175°C) for 8-10 minutes. 

2. In a small saucepan, cook sugar and water to 244°F (118°C). Transfer to bigger pan and add cacao nibs. Stir until cacao nibs are crystalized, spread cacao nibs on sheet tray and cool down.  Store in airtight container.

Caramel and White Soy Sauce:

  • 3.5 oz/100 g glucose syrup
  • 17.6 oz/500 g granulated sugar
  • 15.8 oz/450 g whole milk
  • 0.07 oz/2 g salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 10.5 oz/300 g unsalted butter
  • White soy sauce, to taste

1. In a saucepan, bring glucose syrup to a boil; add sugar step by step, and cook to a dark caramel.

2. Gradually add the milk and salt and bring to a boil, making sure the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from stove, add scraped vanilla bean and butter, and blend for 5 minutes. Add white soy sauce, to taste. Strain and chill overnight.

Chocolate Tuile:

  • 10.5 oz/300 g granulated sugar
  • 1.4 oz/40 g all-purpose flour
  • 1.4 oz/40 g cocoa powder
  • 2.8 oz/80 g corn syrup
  • 2.5 oz/70 g water
  • 3.5 oz/100 g unsalted butter
  • 3.5 oz/100 g 55% chocolate

1. Sift together sugar, flour and cocoa powder. 

2. Mix together corn syrup and water. 

3. Melt chocolate and butter in bowl set over water bath. Mix everything together. Spread onto parchment-lined sheet pan and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 1 minute, turn parchment paper upside-down. Transfer to Pacojet container and run twice to get small, grainy chocolate “soil”.

Brown Butter Dust:

  • 3.5 oz/100 g brown butter, melted
  • 0.07 oz/2 g Maldon salt
  • 0.5 oz/15 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 3.5 oz/100 g maltodextrin powder

Combine brown butter, salt and confectioners’ sugar in food processor. Add maltodextrin and pulse until mixture has a powdery consistency. Store in airtight container.


  • Gold leaf
  • Pine cone syrup

Spoon some White Soy Caramel Sauce on plate along with one spoonful of Caramelized Cacao Nibs. Sprinkle some Brown Butter Dust over the caramel sauce and gently place a chocolate truffle on top (make it look like a truffle that just came out of the soil in the forest). Drizzle some Walnut-Vanilla Oil around the truffle. Garnish with some gold leaf flakes. Drizzle a few drops of pinecone syrup on the truffle to finish.

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