Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Joey Special: Two (Dessert) Pizzas!

Nutella and Peach Pizza 3

In the end, it was more like two versions of the same dessert pizza and one experiment gone painfully, PAINFULLY wrong.

Nutella and Cherry Pizza 3

After getting over my utter shock and amazement of advancing to the next round (thank you guys again for your votes and support! I'm so honored to have made it to the top 72!) I cemented my ideas for the next challenge:

Challenge #5: The Recipe Remix
...We're challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe... You'll be asked to put your own spin on Pizza. For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping. 

The first image that popped in my head was a fruit tart I've done in the past:

Fruit Tart

But a fruit tart?  No, I needed something a bit more... non-conventional.  The first place I turned to was my good friend Pierre Hermé. 

By friend I clearly mean book.

Book 2

I came across two "crusts" that I thought would make good bases for my dessert pizzas: 1) Dacquoise (p.39) and 2) Chocolate Puff Pastry (p.245).

The book says this about a dacquoise:

"The name refers to both the dessert and the disks that sandwich the dessert's filling - is a delicacy that can be found in pastry shops all over France.  Traditionally, it is made with almond flavored disks - the disks are a cross between a nut-speckled meringue and a cake - and filled with hazelnut flavored buttercream."
By Pierre Herme

1/3 cup (40g) Almond Meal/Flour
1/2 cup (50g) Hazelnut Meal/Flour
(try to get the ones without the skin)
3/4 cup (150g) Granulated Sugar
(Split into two: 1/4 cup [50g] and 1/2 cup [100g])
5 Large Egg Whites, At Room Temp
2/3 cup (80g) Hazelnuts, Toasted and Skinned (I left this out)

1. Take parchment paper and draw a 6" circle using the bottom of a cake pan. FLIP IT OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE.  Prepare a pastry bag (or heavy duty zip top bag) with a round tip.

2. In a bowl, combine the Almonds, Hazelnut, and 1/4 cup of the sugar.
 Almond, Sugar, Hazelnuts

3. In a CLEAN bowl of a standing mixer whip whites until opaque. Rain in 1/2 cup sugar and whip until firm glossy peaks.
Stiff Peaks 

4. In another bowl gently mix the meringue with the almond/hazelnut/sugar mixture.
Meringue Mix

5. Pipe disks starting from the center out.
Batter Piping

6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Dust with powdered sugar, wait 10 minutes, dust again, then wait 10 more minutes.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.

The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate ganache but what better chocolate to go with hazelnut than Hazelnut Chocolate??? 


Nutella Pizza

Topping: Cherries and peaches.

Cherry Compote

For the cherries I threw a pound of frozen cherries in a pot with about 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice and brought to a boil.  Then I mixed 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur and added it to the mix.  Simmer for a minute or so.  Cool and fish out the cherries.
Nutella and Cherry Pizza 2

I toasted some coconuts and tried using that as an extra topping.

Nutella and Cherry Pizza 4

Kinda looks like cheese doesn't it?? It tasted better without.

For the peach I sliced the peaches really thin and fanned it out.  I did two layers of peaches then some toasted almond flour.

Nutella and Peach Pizza 2

Onto the failed brilliant idea.

I loved stuffed crust pizza when I was growing up so I thought it would be absolutely BRILLIANT to try to incorporate that into this challenge.  

The pizza would be S'Mores and the stuff oozing out the crust... MARSHMALLOWS!!!

The crust was chocolate puff pastry and I'll just say... this one I'll leave to Pierre.

Chocolate Puff Pastry
By Pierre Herme

The Dough
3 cups (420g) All Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Cold Water (plus a few more tablespoons)
2 teaspoons Salt
5 tablespoons (70g) Unsalted Butter, Melted and Cooled

The Butter Packet
3 3/4 sticks (425g) Unsalted Butter, at room temp
1/2 cup (50g) Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder, Sifted


The Dough
1. Put flour in a bowl and create a well.  Mix the salt in the water until it dissolves then pour in well.  Mix and when most of water is absorbed, add melted butter.  Continue to mix.
Chocolate Puff Pastry Dough

Add little more water at a time if it's too dry and mix.
Dough 2

2. Knead into ball.
Dough 3

3. Form ball into 7"x7"-ish square
Dough 4

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 2 HOURS.

The Butter Packet
1. Take butter and beat in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth but not making it airy.
Cocoa Powder and Butter


2. Form into a square an inch smaller on both sides than the dough.   

Butter and Dough

Butter and Dough 3

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 2 HOURS. 

The Turning (%#@&!)

1. Roll out the dough roughly 7"x12"
Butter and Dough 2 

Soften the butter with hands or rolling pin and make it about half the size of the dough.

2. Fold over the half of the dough and seal in the butter.
Dough Packet

3. If butter and dough are still cold enough, do the first turn.  If not, chill for 1 HOUR then do the first turn.

Chocolate Puff Pastry - Turn 1

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 2 HOURS. 

Chocolate Puff Pastry - Turn 2
Chill for 2 HOURS. 

Chocolate Puff Pastry - Turn 3
Same as before. You can see the dough turning a little brown...

If the dough is cold enough you can do TURN 3 and 4 without chilling.

Chill for 2 HOURS. 

Chocolate Puff Pastry - Turn 4
A little more brown...

Chill for 2 HOURS. 

Chocolate Puff Pastry - Turn 5
Now, it's a lot brown.
You can combine TURN 5 & TURN 6 without chilling.

Chill for 2 HOURS. 

Turn 6

Chill for 6 HOURS. Then use as desired.

Chocolate Puff Pastry 2

Brilliant Idea

Brilliant Idea 2

Fingers crossed...

Brilliant Idea 3

Nope.  Oh well.  Ganache!


Smores Pizza

Marshmallow Fluff

MmmmMmmm.. preservatives!

Smores Pizza 2
Looks like eggs.

Smores Pizza 3

Torch, add Graham Cracker Crumbs and Voila!  A hot mess.

Smores Pizza 6

Smores Pizza 7

Taste? Not bad!

Nutella and Peach Pizza

Nutella and Cherry Pizza

Smores Pizza 8

It was extremely frustrating... but fun to explore my creativity.  Hopefully, my efforts pay off!  


  1. yummy, yummy, yummy, (can't stop), yummy, OMG this is really yummy, really, you chose my favorite ingredient (chocolate) I LOVE it, these are really so sweet I can't wait to try you recipes here, thanks so much & wish you good luck :)

  2. OMG now you're my HERO! I LOVE IT! Please mail both ASAP! VOTED!

  3. oh for a bite... mmm...delicious. I am especially craving the chocolate one.

  4. When it's inspired by Pierre Hermé, how can't it not be perfect? Great job on the chocolate puff pastry, now that's a time-consuming endeavor! Your two takes on dessert pizza look fabulous, I would have loved having the chance to taste them... because I don't think I would have the courage to make them myself! I love to read you blog, there are not so many of them written by pastry chefs. Keep up the good work!

  5. I've never seen your blog, but will be a dedicated reader now! I wouldn't have noticed your entry without the Friends quote!! So awesome!!

  6. love the tutorial and pictures to help us along- voting!!!!! beautifully done!

  7. Your dessert pizzas are gorgeous! Even the one you said was a fail is a winner in my book! Good luck!

  8. omg, can i please please please have a slice of that cherry pizza... i've never wanted anything so bad! :) i can't help but vote for your entry. *drooling*

  9. I don't care that the puff pastry one didn't turn out as planned - it looks fanfreakingtastic to me and I want a slice of that stat!

  10. OMG, I am so not into dessert pizzas, but when you brought out the marshmellow fluff and the nutella? Girrrrrrl, my mind is CHANGED! *drool* Cheers, just voted....

  11. That is the most delicious looking "fail" I've ever seen! These all look great!

  12. oh i am speechless...can a pizza look so good...i bet these are the best desserts one can have

  13. OMG! Your photos are terrific and the pizzas look scrumptious! Great for you!

  14. Wow! I am impressed with your effort and dedication! Great work!

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