Jimmy LeClerc, Top Ten Pastry Chef of 2015, presents his Le Diva.
Yield: 8 servings
Vanilla Macaron Layer:
- 8.8 oz/250 g whole blanched almonds
- 8.8 oz/250 g confectioners’ sugar
- 0.07 oz/2 g vanilla powder
- 1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 5.8 oz/165 g egg whites, divided
- 1.76 oz/50 g water
- 7 oz/200 g granulated sugar
1. Process the almonds with the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until powder-fine. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the vanilla powder, 2.8 oz/80 g of the egg whites, and the vanilla bean scrapings until blended to a paste.
2. Place the remaining 3 oz/85 g of the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer and begin whipping at low speed with the whisk attachment. Meanwhile in a saucepan, combine the water and sugar and cook to 240°F. Gradually add the hot syrup to the whipping whites and whip at medium speed for 2 minutes, then high speed for 2 minutes, or until the whites are stiff and glossy. Fold in the nut paste and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
3. On a sheet pan that has been lined with a Silpat, pipe 1 ½” x 4” rectangles. Bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Tahitian Vanilla Cream:
- 5.8 oz/165 g granulated sugar
- 13 oz/366 g heavy cream 36%, divided
- 2 Tahitian vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 0.35 oz/10 g vanilla extract
- 1 oz/29 g cornstarch
- 7.7 oz/220 g unsalted butter 83%
- 6.4 oz/183 g Valrhona Opalis white chocolate
1. In a saucepan, combine 10.33 oz/293 g of the cream with the sugar, vanilla bean pods and scrapings and vanilla extract. Heat the mixture until bubbles just begin to form around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to stand for 20 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2.5 oz/73 g cream with the cornstarch until smooth. Whisk this into the warm cream mixture and bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute, whisking, until fully thickened. Add the butter, one cube at a time, and incorporate with immersion blender. Add white chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Emulsify with immersion blender. Transfer to covered bowl and refrigerate.
Soft Almond Biscuit:
- 7.7 oz/220 g almond flour
- 2.5 oz/70 g granulated sugar, divided
- 6 oz/170 g brown sugar
- 9.8 oz/280 g egg whites, divided
- 3.17 oz/90 g egg yolks
- 1.76 oz/50 g heavy cream 36%
- 0.07 oz/2 g fleur de sel
- 3.17 oz/90 g all-purpose flour
- 0.17 oz/5 g baking powder
1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the almond flour, 1.4 oz/40 g of the sugar, the brown sugar, 1.4 oz/40 g of the egg whites, the egg yolks, cream and fleur de sel at high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed and slowly add the remaining 8.4 oz/240 g of the egg whites and the remaining 1 oz/30 g sugar. Add the flour and baking powder and mix just until blended.
2. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe 1 ½” x 4” rectangles onto a sheet pan that has been lined with a silicone baking mat. Bake at 340°F for 10 minutes.
- 4.4 oz/125 g fresh strawberries
- 6.3 oz/180 g fresh wild strawberries
- 0.6 oz/18 g granulated sugar
- 6.7 oz/190 g strawberry puree
- 2.4 oz/70 g cornstarch
- 11 oz/310 g Valrhona Opalis white chocolate
- 9.17 oz/260 g unsalted butter
In a saucepan, combine the strawberries and sugar and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and puree with immersion blender. Combibe the puree and cornstarch and add it to the strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour the hot strawberry mixture over the white chocolate and butter and emulsify with immersion blender. Refrigerate.
- Fresh strawberries, sliced
- Lime zest
- Gold leaf
Place a macaron rectangle flat side up on plate and pipe a layer of Vanilla Cream on top. Top with 3 large slices of strawberry. Pipe a layer of Strawberry Cream on top and top with an Almond Biscuit rectangle. Pipe small dollops of Strawberry and Vanilla Cream on top. Garnish with lime zest and gold leaf. Garnish with chocolate decoration on the side.