Good Things In Small Packages: Pistachio, Ginger Pineapple and Milk Chocolate Verrine – Ross Baxter

Posted at January 21, 2012 by 2 Comments

A verrine is a dessert originally from France made by layering different ingredients in a small glass. I’m going to show you how to make a verrine of Pistachio, Pineapple and Milk Chocolate. It will have layers of Pistachio Crème Brulee, Poached Ginger Pineapple, Biscuit Cuillere and Milk Chocolate Chantilly Crème.

As a child I would always dread the times when my mum would serve trifle for dessert, a huge trifle that took up the entire fridge which the whole family would be eating for days, eventually ending in all the layers congealing into one giant mess of unsweetened fruit and soggy bread. This verrine is a great alternative to a traditional British trifle.

Within this recipe I will also show you the technique for making a perfect ganache, the secret to a perfect ganache is all in the emulsion. An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible such as fat and water. By slowly incorporating hot cream in intervals into the melted chocolate (the fat) we create friction, this friction helps to break down the fat crystals in the chocolate and splits the ganache, this allows us to continue to add the liquid, bringing the ganache back together, creating an elastic core and ensuring the fat molecules coat the water molecules (the cream). This results in a shiny, smooth finish to our ganache with no risk of separation of the fat and liquid through time.

Pistachio, Ginger Pineapple and Milk Chocolate Verrine - by Ross Baxter

Recipe serves 4

First we need to make the Pistachio Crème Brulee.

- 60g Egg Yolks
- 42g Caster Sugar
- 125g Milk
- 125g Whipping Cream
- 16g Pistachio Paste (You can also infusion ground green pistachios into the milk)

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1. Pour the cream, milk & pistachio paste (or ground pistachios) into a saucepan & slowly bring to the boil, whisking occasionally to ensure the paste is well mixed. 2. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks & sugar together in a bowl until light & creamy. 3. Once the milk liquid has boiled, strain through a fine sieve. Gradually add the hot liquid to the yolks & sugar, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the yolks.

 4.   5.   6.

4. Cover with cling film ensuring the film is in contact with the cream. This stops any skin forming on the top as it cools. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to rest. Pre heat the oven to 90oC. 5. Remove from the fridge & strain again through a fine sieve, weigh the amount you have & divide between the four glasses, it should come up about a third of the glass. 6. Place onto a tray, no need to place the glasses in a Baine Marie, it will cook just fine. Cook for about 45 – 50 minutes until set. Once cooked remove from the oven & refrigerate until assembly of the dessert

Next up is the Ginger Poached Pineapple.

- 1 Pineapple
- 50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
- 10g Fresh Ginger, Finely Grated
- 3g Lemon Zest

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1. Remove the top & bottom of the pineapple so you have a steady base when you trim of the skin. Carefully work your way around the pineapple taking off the skin, ensuring not to remove too much flesh. 2. Cut into 1cm strips & then cut these strips into 1cm cubes. 3. Place into a bowl & add the remaining ingredients.


 4.   5.   6.

4. Mix using a spoon until the sugar, ginger & lemon coats the pineapple. 5. Tightly cover with cling film. 6. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes until the pineapple is cooked but still has a little bite. Once cooked keep the cling film on & refrigerate to cool.

Now we make the Milk Chocolate Chantilly Cream.

Note: This is where our emulsion for the perfect ganache comes in.

- 200g Milk Chocolate 34%, (The best you can find)
- 122g Whipping Cream
- 14g Liquid Glucose
- 350g Whipping Cream

 1.   2.   3.

1. Place the chocolate in a glass or metal bowl & melt over a Baine Marie. 2. Meanwhile pour the first amount of cream into a small saucepan along with the glucose & heat to around 50oC. (We don’t want to boil the cream) 3. Once the chocolate is melted & the cream hot we can now begin to slowly incorporate the cream. Place the tiniest amount in first & then only working the spatula in the centre begin to emulsify the two together.

 4.   5.   6. 

4 & 5. The chocolate will begin to split & become grainy, don’t throw it in the bin, this means the emulsion working.

6. Continue to add very small amounts of cream constantly working the spatula in the centre creating an elastic core. You should end up with a ganache that’s smooth, shiny & has elasticity.

 7.   8.   9.

7 & 8. We now need to incorporate the remaining cold liquid cream, so using a whisk or if you have one a stick blender, gradually pour the cold cream into the ganache. 9. Once smooth & fully incorporated, cover with cling film & refrigerate until needed.

The final part of our dessert is the Biscuit Cuillere/ Lady Fingers.

(If you want to save time you can also buy lady finger biscuits from the supermarket).

- 60g Egg Yolk
- 60g Caster Sugar
- 71g Egg White
- 30g Plain Flour
- 30g Corn Flour
- Q.s. Ground Pistachios

 1.   2.   3. 

Pre-heat the oven to 200oC. 1. Sift the corn flour & flour together. 2. Slightly beat the yolks & 48g of caster sugar. 3. In a separate bowl or stand mixer, whip the aged egg whites to meringue, gradually adding the remaining caster sugar.

 4.   5.   6.

4. Carefully blend the beaten yolks & sugar mixture into the meringue. Now gently fold in the mixture of sifted flours ensuring not to beat out all the air. 5. Spread onto a baking tray about 5mm thick, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios & toasted almonds, this will be our crunchy texture to break through the creams and sponge. Bake for about 5 – 6 minutes, until it begins to colour. 6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with caster sugar while still hot. Leave to cool and the cut out disks to fit the inside of you glass.


 1.   2.   3.

1. Take the cold crème brulee out of the fridge & place a disk of biscuit cuillere on top. 2. Spoon in the poached ginger pineapple to a third of the glass, make sure you add some of the poaching juices for the sponge to soak in. 3. Place a second disk of sponge on top, soak slightly with any remaining juice.

 4.   5.   6.

4 & 5. Whip the cream to Chantilly, transfer to a piping bag with a star nozzle. 6. Pipe the cream on top of the sponge. Garnish as you like, with a few chopped pistachios and toasted almonds or chocolate decor. Enjoy…….

I hope you all enjoyed my post and are heading out to buy those ingredients you need to make the verrine for yourselves. I’m currently in the process of organising a few Pop up Afternoon Tea events in and around the Edinburgh area as well as working with Humble Pie Cook School, North Berwick setting some dates for pastry workshops. I’m also taking bookings for private afternoon teas perfect for parties, christenings and baby showers. Please check out my Facebook page at for images of my work and regular updates. Follow me on twitter @RossPatissier.



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