Creamy Dark Chocolate with Plums from Val Di Chiana - Recipe of the 2 Michelin Star Pastry Chef, Michele Fanucchi.

Creamy Dark Chocolate with Plums from Val Di Chiana - Recipe of the 2 Michelin Star Pastry Chef, Michele Fanucchi.

Michele Fanucchi

Pastry Chef

Michele Fanucchi was born in Lucca, and, as early as the age of 8, he began to put his hands in the dough without ever considering patisserie to be his life's work.

It was a three-month cultural experience in America that changed his outlook, turning a simple passion for cakes and sweets into something far more serious. After a brief period in two gourmet restaurants in the province of Lucca to test his interest in savoury food, Michele Fanucchi realised that he was too tied to pastry and found an important opportunity at 'Arnolfo', a Michelin 2-starred Tuscan restaurant.

The teachings of Ettore Beligni, the restaurant's Pastry Chef at the time, were fundamental, and after six months, he asked him to take his place. So, thanks to the support of Chef Trovato and the encouragement of his colleagues, today, Michele Fanucchi celebrates four years since his arrival in Colle Val d'Elsa.

Moelleux with dark chocolate Amedei INGREDIENTS

Dough

  • Butter 125 grams
  • Sugar 110 grams
  • Dark chocolate Amedei Toscano Black 70 125 grams
  • Whole eggs 100 grams
  • Corn starch 25 grams
  • Potato starch 10 grams

Ganache insert

  • Milk infused with thyme 65 grams
  • Dark chocolate Amedei Toscano Black 70 75 grams
  • Neutral icing 65 grammi
  • Fresh diced plum 0,5 x 0,5 cm

Namelaka with Amedei dark chocolate extra Toscano Black 70 INGREDIENTS

  • Gelatine 2,5 grams
  • Milk 100 grams
  • Dark chocolate Amedei Toscano Black 70 125 grams
  • Glucose 5 grams
  • Cream 200 grams

Plum puree INGREDIENTS

  • Plum puree 450 grams
  • Water 280 grams
  • Sugar 160 grams
  • Glucose 50 grams
  • Stabiliser 3 grams
  • Dextrose 20 grams
  • Agar-agar 1 gram
  • Lemon juice 10 grams
  • Inulin 5 grams

Shortcrust pastry with cornflour INGREDIENTS

  • Butter 113 grams
  • Salt 2 grams
  • Icing sugar 113 grams
  • Baking 2 grams
  • Yolk 80 grams
  • Rice flour 150 grams
  • Cornflour 100 grams
  • Almond flour 23 grams

Plum and thyme sauce INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh plums 250 grams
  • Sugar 25 grams
  • Citric acid 1 gram
  • Fresh thyme 5 grams

Cocoa Tuile Dough (the only non-gluten-free element) INGREDIENTS

  • Egg white 200 grams
  • Flour 200 grams
  • Icing sugar 200 grams
  • Butter 200 grams
  • Cocoa 50 grams
Serves about 20

The Dessert with Creamy dark chocolate and Val di Chiana plums was born from the desire to create a completely gluten-free dish, allowing everyone to enjoy a moment of fine patisserie.

In addition, I wanted to give prominence to an important summer fruit of our territory, the plum, by treating it differently, giving it an intensity of flavour and colour.

For this reason, I borrowed oil from the kitchen, which combines perfectly with the sweetness and acidity of the plum, to put the fresh fruit in the dish using an alternative cooking method.

Then there are the sauce and the sorbet processes that allow you to appreciate the plum in all its natural flavour and in two different consistencies.

Finally, as a surprise inside, there is Moelleux combined with the aromatic bitterness of the dark chocolate extra Amedei Toscano Black 70.

Moelleux with dark chocolate Amedei Dough

First, prepare the ganache by melting the chocolate and adding the boiling milk in three stages, blending everything with an immersion blender, adding the hot, neutral icing, and continuing to emulsify. Next, pour the mixture into the desired mould, inserting the fresh plum cube to thoroughly incorporate it into the ganache. Then freeze the mixture.

Proceed with the preparation of the mixture in the meantime.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave at about 40° C. 

In the meantime, soften the butter to a cream and add the sugar. Next, add the chocolate to the butter mixture, taking care not to melt it with the heat of the melted chocolate. Next, add a pinch of salt, the whole eggs and finally, the sieved powders. Store in a piping bag.

To bake, fill the desired mould halfway and put the knocked-down ganache in the centre, cover with more mixture and bake at 175° C for about 10/15 minutes (the baking time depends on the shape and size of the chosen mould).

Namelaka with Amedei dark chocolate extra Toscano Black 70

Bring the milk to a boil, add and melt first the glucose and then the softened gelatine. Pour the liquid a little at a time over the semi-dissolved chocolate and emulsify with a hand blender. Check that the temperature is around 40° C and add the fresh cream while continuing to emulsify. Leave to rest for at least 12 hours with plastic film. Then work with a spatula until smooth and store in a piping bag with a smooth 0.6 cm nozzle.

Plum sorbet

First, prepare the plum puree to concentrate the flavour and retain the colour. Then, soak the plums with 10% of their weight in sugar for about an hour.

Recover the liquid produced and bring it to a boil separately. Add the plums, and once cooked the plums, and once cooked, blend and filter.

Now weigh all the powders together. Heat the water and glucose to 85 °C and add the powders, whisking to avoid lumps. Let the mixture rest until it is lukewarm. Add the syrup to the plum puree, add the lemon juice and blend with an immersion blender to emulsify the mixture. Place in a Pacojet glass and blast chill. Blend if necessary.

Shortcrust pastry with cornflour

Work the butter with the icing sugar, add the egg yolks and finally the sieved flours, working until completely absorbed. Finally, add the salt at the end. Leave to rest in the fridge for 12 hours before using.

Bake at a temperature of 170° C.

Plum and thyme sauce

Wash the plums and remove the stones so that they can be cut into coarse pieces. Mix the chopped plums with sugar, citric acid and fresh thyme. Let them macerate for half an hour and then cook them with the same technique used for the sorbet puree, only taking care to keep the cooking time longer, to obtain a sauce suitable to be spread on the plate without being too watery or liquid. Take care to remove all the thyme before blending, sieving the mixture with a very fine mesh.

Cocoa Tuile Dough (the only non-gluten-free element)

Combine all the ingredients and blend with a blender. Spread finely on Silpat and bake at 180° C for about 6/7 minutes. As soon as it comes out of the oven, cut the dough into the desired shape before it hardens.

Plums in oil

Stone the plums, simply cut them in half, place them in vacuum-packed bags with a sprig of thyme and put delicate quality olive oil in the bag. Next, steam the plums in the oven at 80° C until they are slightly soft, about 7 to 8 minutes. (the time depends on the size and ripeness of the plum). Once removed from the oven, place them immediately in an ice bath for a few minutes. Then store the fruit in the fridge to allow the oil to penetrate completely.

Assembly

First of all, with the help of a Silpat, it will be necessary to dress the melting Namelaka by forming an ingot composed of 5 wedges that touch each other so that once knocked down, they remain attached in a single block.

Glaze these knocked-down ingots with a spray gun loaded with a glaze of half dark chocolate and half cocoa butter until they are completely covered. Place each frosted ingot on a rectangle of the same size, made with the gluten-free shortcrust pastry previously rolled out, cut to the desired size and baked.

Now it's time to serve. Using an elbow spatula, make a comma on the surface of the plate with the plum and thyme sauce. Place the ingot with its pastry slightly astride the comma.

On the right, place a half teaspoon of crumble on which a plum sorbet quenelle can be placed. On the right again, put the Moelleux.

Finish the dish by cutting plum slices in cooking oil and setting them alternately on the dessert, sprigs of fresh thyme and two cocoa tulle wafers to give extra height to the dessert.

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