Bonheur Pâtisserie Part 1 – Light Sakura Peach Mousse & Valrhona Chocolate Tart
This is a review which is loooong overdue. Then again, so is the long list of things which I’d wanna write about! Photos were taken mid last year actually when I first visited Bonheur Pâtisserie, a little dessert boutique tucked along Duxton Road, in the heart of Tanjong Pagar. In fact, I’d made trips down in 3 quick successions all within a week, to try out their creations, many of which I felt exhibited novelty and innovativity. I’d once read somewhere, that a blog review becomes obselete after three months, as so many things could have changed, i.e. the chefs, the ingredients, the technique, etc…be it for the better or for the worse. But I’d decided to share it here, over a series of reviews nonetheless, as my tasting experience at Bonheur had been a rather pleasant one. I’m pretty sure yours would be too. Better late than never yeah? 🙂
Light Peach Sakura, one of the signature pieces at Bonheur. A domed light peach mousse with a sakura infused chocolat blanc centre, resting on a piece of butter pound, with a pâte sablée disc as a base.
The sweetness coaxed from the peach mousse and the aroma it exuded was most delightful! Light and dainty, the flavours were refreshing and not overpowering, not to mention very novel in pastry making as the “peach” theme is surely uncommon in desserts and confections. Minus an assortment of konnyaku jellies and chewy candies from Japan and Taiwan, I’d not tasted a peach-flavoured piece in a proper piece of pastry prior to this one. Have you?
The sugary sensation was kept in check with a hint of savory from the pickled sakura blossoms-infused white chocolate centre, adding a tinge of “wagashi-ness” to it. For me, a dessert should not only be about being sweet. Additional dimensions of savory, and sometimes acridity and bitterness are also appreciated to gel the piece together.
It also scored high in texture, smooth mousse over buttery dense pound cake and a sablee base to provide crunch and crisp. Need I say more? 🙂
I’d also tried the Valrhona Chocolate Tart for contrast. Valrhona Alpaco ganache with morsels of candied orange rind and caramelized hazelnuts with a layer of hazelnut cream. The tart is crowned with a lavender-infused chocolat noir ganache macaron and a curled chocolate decor.
The ganache chocolat noir used 66% cacao Valrhona Alpaco, embellished with candied orange rind and caramelized hazelnuts, a very “safe” combination of components which go well naturally. This is a tart to be individually savoured by a serious chocolate lover, or shared with a friend over a mini degustation. On its own, its probably a tad too rich to be enjoyed on one’s own but that said the piece is very well-executed technically. Sounds a bit ironic I know!
The tart shell was made very thin and what’s more intriguing is how pale it looked. But it was crisp and served its job. That said, the crust seemed more like a vector for all the “chocolatiness” that it held within and otherwise somewhat lacking. It would probably do the tart some good if the crust were to have some character or a spirit of its own. I recall reading about a comment made by Pierre Herme during one of his masterclasses, that a tart base should be baked until it develops a really tan hue for it to stand out in terms of flavour and looks. Perhaps something that could be explored…
Cross-section view of the tart revealing the innards – layers of rich ganache over a creme au noisette.
Morsels of candied orange rind held within, sending wafts of citrusy perfume as one bites into them.
The lavender infused macaron was delicious, especially the soft floral textures it imbues.
Overall, two rather enjoyable pieces for sure. Unfortunately, the light peach sakura mousse is not available at the point of writing, due to the AVA ban on JUPE products, which includes the light peach concentrate used in the mousse. Such a shame really as it is a really beautiful piece both in appearance and taste. JUPE’s products were found to be contaminated as its production plant was unfortunately located within the range of Fukushima nuclear power leakage, following the tsunami aftermath. So let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the ban would be lifted soon for us to enjoy the mousse cake once more!
On a more positive note, Chef Lin Wei Xian who helms Bonheur has made revisions to the chocolate tart, using an improved recipe for the tart shell, i.e. Chef Stephane Glacier ‘s recipe for pâte sucrée aux amandes, incorporating ground almonds for extra flavour and aroma. Looks like I’ll need to make another trip down to Bonheur to try it soon!
70 Duxton Road
T: 6221 1148