Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus has partnered with nine pastry chefs from around the world — including Cronut King Dominique Ansel — to create a box of very fancy pralines called the "Haute Pâtisserie" collection. Ansel's praline is a sort of riff on a Snickers bar, with milk chocolate encasing a peanut butter ganache, roasted peanuts, and caramel. He told the New York Post, "I remember tasting peanut butter for the very first time when I was very little. It was a really exciting flavor. I never tried it again until I moved to the States."
Other participating chefs include Joost Arijs (formerly of three Michelin star Hof Van Cleve, now with his own pastry shop in Ghent), Christophe Adam (L'Éclair de Génie, Paris), Oriol Balaguer (formerly of elBulli, now of Oriol Balaguer, Barcelona), and others. The box is due out mid-October (so, now-ish) and contains 27 pralines total, three for each chef. Below, a close-up of all the contributions and a press release.
NINE INTERNATIONAL PÂTISSIERS CREATE PRALINES FOR NEUHAUS WHEN "HAUTE PÂTISSERIE" JOINS NEUHAUS... NEW YORK'S DOMINIQUE ANSEL CREATES PRALINE FOR BELGIAN CHOCOLATE LEGEND NEW YORK, NY, October 2013 – Legendary Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus has teamed up with nine internationally renowned pâtissiers (or pastry chefs) to create the "Haute Pâtisserie" collection, available nationwide in Neuhaus shops and online at www.neuhauschocolates.com this October. New York's own Dominique Ansel, owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery and creator of the famed "cronut," is representing the US within the collection. Neuhaus selected the nine pâtissiers based on their talent and influence in the world of gastronomy, with each of them gleaning inspiration from his own roots, experience and favorite dessert. Together with the expertise of Neuhaus' Maître Chocolatier they have created individual pralines showcasing their talent paired with the company's rich history. The result is a unique collection of nine different pralines that will take chocolate lovers on a journey around the world of "Haute Pâtisserie."
The luxurious gift case contains 27 special pralines (three from each chef), costs $45 and will be available in all Neuhaus shops mid-?October 2013. Dominique Ansel, originally from Paris, made his name in New York as Chef Pâtissier in Chef Daniel Boulud's three-?star restaurant. These days he runs a successful pâtisserie in the Big Apple. He has won various awards, such as "Best New Pâtisserie of New York", "Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the United States" and has been nominated as "Outstanding Pastry Chef".
Dominique Ansel, New York City, United States
Ganache with roasted peanuts on a layer of caramel 'à l'ancienne,' enrobed with a creamy milk chocolate. "Inspired by childhood memories, peanut butter ganache reveals its rounded flavour accompanied by a soft toffee covered in milk chocolate. A tip of the hat to America and a fusion of two cultures."
Joost Arijs, Ghent, Belgium
After completing his pâtisserie training in Bruges, Joost Arijs worked for several well-?known pastry chefs and became Chef Pâtissier at the three-?star Michelin restaurant, "Hof van Cleve." Since 2011 Joost Arijs and his girlfriend Elke De Baerdemaeker have successfully run their own pâtisserie in the heart of Ghent. In 2012 they were awarded the title of "Best Patisserie in Belgium" by Gault & Millau.
Neuhaus Praline: Ganache from dark origin chocolate made with 70% cocoa from Ecuador, a crumble of cocoa nibs and a layer of coulis from Indian mangoes.
"In my pâtisserie I usually work with chocolate as main ingredient. I love to combine it with the fresh notes of fruit and citrus. By working with different textures you can make a dessert interesting."
Raphaël Glot, Namur, Belgium
This Belgian pâtissier grew up with a love of fine cakes. After gaining work experience in Paris and New York, in 2009 he won a bronze medal during the "Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie" in Lyon. His creations are individual jewels, rightly earning him his nickname of "the goldsmith of pastry."
Neuhaus Praline: Slightly salted caramel 'à l'ancienne' on a layer of velvety praliné enriched with pieces of hazelnuts, enrobed with dark chocolate.
"The two sweet and sugary delights I cherish most, butter caramel and hazelnut praliné, are seen to blend inside a dark origine chocolate shell, combined with a shortbread crust. A blend of feelings created especially for Neuhaus."
Christophe Adam, Paris, France
Christophe Adam, who achieved fame as creative director at Fauchon, is known for his reinventions of classics such as the Baba au Rhum and the Forêt Noire, and especially his Éclairs. Over the past two years he has been raising the profile of his latest passion: sweet delicacies. He recently opened "L'Éclair de Génie," a new French pastry concept, which sells absolutely delicious éclairs and sublime chocolate truffles.
Neuhaus Praline: Smooth ganache with Sicilian pistachios and oranges from Valencia, enriched with black raisins from Chile.
"I like combining orange with pistachio for its floral hint. It brings out the natural tang of the nut. This praline blends smoothness and robustness, a match made in heaven that is travelling around the world."
Martin Chiffers, London, United Kingdom
Martin Chiffers has worked as Executive Pastry Chef in the most prestigious hotels around the world. Since 2012 he runs his own 'CHIFFERS' store in the Ginza district of Tokyo. He has collected numerous gold medals and judged at various high profile culinary competitions around the world. He is President of the UK Pastry Team, who won the European Pastry cup in 2012.
Neuhaus Praline: Chocolate ganache with rose on a layer of intense praliné à l'ancienne made with hazelnuts and fresh raspberries.
"Inspired by berries and flowers from Cornish gardens, my chocolate encases the sweetness of fresh picked raspberries and floral notes of English roses, with a hint of orange and a delicate crunch of shortbread."
Bernd Siefert, Michelstadt, Germany
Bernd Siefert is one of world's best-?known European Chefs Pâtissier. Among his many successes is the title of "Best German Pâtissier" for five years running, Pastry World Champion and "Most Innovative Pastry Chef in the world." Besides running his own pâtisserie, he coaches the German team for the Patisserie World Cup in Lyon.
Neuhaus Praline: Smooth chocolate ganache with Chinese jasmine tea on a thin layer of crunchy praliné with ginger enrobed with milk chocolate.
"For this praline, which I named "Chinese Girls," I was inspired by the floral aroma of jasmine. Combined with the gentle bitterness of green tea and the spiciness of candied ginger, this surprising blend of flavours is a perfect match with milk chocolate."
Oriol Balaguer, Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
Oriol Balaguer inherited his passion for pastry from his father. Following seven years work experience at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli -? nominated best three-? star restaurant in the world four times -? in 2002 he opened the first pastry studio in Spain. He has received several awards for his work, including "Best Dessert in the World" and "Best Pâtissier" in Spain in 1993.
Neuhaus Praline: Crispy praliné with popping sugar on a layer of praliné with passion fruit and Piedmonts hazelnuts, enrobed with soft milk chocolate.
"I dubbed this praline 'Masceta.' It is inspired by 'La Fallas,' the annual popular celebration in Valencia. The popping sugar represents the crackling fireworks."
Louie Ye, Shanghai, China
Chef Louie Ye is the Pastry Chef of the world's highest hotel, Park Hyatt Shanghai. His innovation, inspiration and creativity make him one of the most dazzling stars in gastronomy. Since 2001, Ye has won many world-?renowned awards; he represented China in the "World Pastry Championships" in 2012 and received the honor of placing sixth.
Neuhaus Praline: Caramel 'à l'ancienne' with a hint of salt combined with dark origin chocolate made with 70% cocoa from Ecuador, enrobed with intense dark chocolate.
"Asian cuisine often combines sweet and savory flavors. A sprinkle of sea salt in a slightly bitter caramel triggers the taste buds and enhances the intense taste dark chocolate."
Koji Tsuchiya, Tokyo, Japan
For three decades Chef Tsuchiya travelled around the globe, serving internships with many renowned Pastry Chefs and successfully entering prestigious competitions, including the reputable "Charles Proust" in Paris and the "Mandarine Napoleon" in Tokyo. Since 1999, and alongside his
5 luxury boutiques, he has also been running "Théobroma," his very own Chocolate Museum in the heart of Tokyo.
Neuhaus Praline: Dark origin chocolate ganache made with 70% cocoa from Ecuador on a layer of fruit coulis made with Japanese yuzu; an Asian citrus fruit.
"My inspiration is the wonderful aroma of yuzu, a well-?known citrus fruit in Japanese cuisine. To me, this chocolate features a perfect marriage between the bitter intense taste of dark chocolate and the subtle yet refreshing acidity of yuzu."