Mad about Plaisir Sucré

Plaisir Sucré Recreated @ Home

I’d wanted to try making this impressive looking milk chocolate dessert since I bought Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. Just that I’d never found the time to do so until this weekend.

This multi-component dessert could be completed in a day, if one were an early riser, efficient and planned well-ahead. I chose instead to make the individual components over a couple of evenings before finally assembling them yesterday.

The dessert is made up of 5 components - chocolate sheets, whipped chocolate cream, ganache, hazelnut dacquoise and praline. For the chocolate, I used Valrhona Jivara Lactée 40% milk chocolate. Be forewarned: this chocolate tastes spectacular on its own - I couldn’t resist eating it while chopping them up for the ganache.

Plaisir Sucré

Given the terribly warm and humid weather we’ve had here the last couple of days, it was a real challenge to temper the milk chocolate and form the chocolate sheets without making a big chocolatey mess. I eventually solved the problem by working in my living room with the air-conditioning going at full blast.

The other components were simpler to put together. I particularly liked the hazelnut dacquoise with its thin layer of Nutella praline, although the rectangles turned out untidier than I’d have liked. The praline layer started melting as soon as I began cutting the dacquoise.

The end result was a rich and decadent plated dessert that tasted heavenly, but too rich to finish on my own. In hindsight, I should have made the chocolate ganache layers thinner. If you ever attempt making this dessert, I’d recommend making the individual portions a little smaller.

Plaisir Sucré

Note: If you live in Singapore and think that this dessert looks somewhat familiar (my rendition is taller and wider), you’re probably right. Bakerzin markets a similar dessert under the name “Sweet Pleasure”, a direct translation of “Plaisir Sucré”.

What you may not know is that the concept for this amazing dessert with its multitude of textures was created in 1993 by Paris’ famed pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Another interesting thing I’ve discovered is that the counters at the Bakerzin outlets showcasing their desserts look remarkably similar to the ones at the Pierre Hermé outlets in Paris!

20 Responses to “Mad about Plaisir Sucré”

  1. Evan Says:

    karen! OMG, im so so so so envious of u!! when can i do desserts like you *sobs* i think you did such a beautiful job on the plaisir sucre, which i did think of attempting, but the fact that it requires choc tempering puts me off. i’ve been trying to temper chocs so i can do curls and decors but my home’s aircon is not cold at all. will the choc sheets melt when you leave them out at room temperature (ie. w/o aircon)?

    oh ya, bakerzin, i wanted to tell u that the other day but i’ve been too busy lately - they call their ispahan lookalike dessert as ispahan! is it legal to do that? i guess pierre herme must not have patent that, otherwise how could anyone use that name to create a similar looking item? are the other items just like pierre herme’s too? but i thought the stuffs bakerzin sells are pretty cool, other than canele patisserie & the patisser.

    and, your ispahan looks really really good! in fact i think this one looks better than your last, at least on photo, coz you used a white plate this time :p

  2. Karen Says:

    Hi Evan, thank you! Yes, the chocolate sheets did start to melt at room temperature while I was cutting them and while assembling them. The problem is that “room temperature” here in Singapore is not really room temperature where most of these cookbooks are written. I had to work very fast, even with the air-conditioning running.

    About Bakerzin - I once read somewhere that Daniel Tay (CEO & founder of Bakerzin) actually apprenticed under Pierre Hermé in Paris. Personally, I think it’s better that Bakerzin use the same name rather than market it under another name. This way at least we all know where the dessert originated from.

  3. Evan Says:

    hi karen, yes, our room temp is definitely worse than summer for those in western countries! at least their humidity is low. anyway i heard if the chocs are tempered correctly, they shd set at room temp ie. OUR room temp. w/o air-con that is. its just like the chocs we buy from shops, they don’t melt even if just leave them lying around rite?

    btw whats that “thing” below your plaisir sucre? it looks like a pierre herme logo to me :p also, how did your macarons & raspberries get so shiny? i thought my macarons were smooth, but not glossy like yours. and the raspberries you bought, they’re like so fresh & red. mine’s always at the “brink” of spoilage. i cant seem to get really fresh berries here.

  4. Karen Says:

    Hi again, Evan. I think they were tempered correctly because the sheets were shiny and not streaky - perhaps they started melting because they were so thin. But you might be right. I find that milk chocolate has a tendency to melt at room temperature. Dark chocolate is more resilient.

    The “thing” that the dessert sits on is just a piece of gold coloured cardboard, commonly used in hotels and cafes for individual slices of cakes. I bought them at Phoon Huat. They are available in round or rectangle shapes.

    The macarons I make get their shine after refridgeration. The raspberries are from Cold Storage. I don’t know how long they sat there before I bought them. At $8.95 a box, I think they might have been there for a while! I usually try to look for boxes that have firmer looking berries inside.

  5. Evan Says:

    hi again karen! no no, i don’t mean the gold cardboard base. i mean the black one below the cardboard base, with a cursive ‘P’ word. it looks like a PH logo :p

    i find you really really really talented! its a waste that you never enrol in le cordon bleu! you hv the taste, talent and style in these french desserts, and you can make them so well. not many ppl in singapore actually “dare” to attempt these. guess alot of them just don’t hv the exposure yet.

    oh actually i don’t hv luck in these berries. i bought them twice, once from cold storage takashimaya & another time from carrefour. i probably didnt use them immediately so they just turned mushy after a day. for a start, there just werent that many firm berries to choose from :( even if they’re firm, they’re not shiny like yours.

    btw, can i just ask, where did u get the transparent plastic box that you use it to put macarons in? im referring to this :

    im trying to find but cant find it anywhere. im also hoping to get a bigger size to put cakes/cupcakes in. they look better than the white cardboard boxes. did you get them in singapore? thx for yr help karen =)

  6. Karen Says:

    Hi Evan, you’re right. It is the PH logo / signature. It’s on the hardcover of the PH book - you’ll see it when you remove the paper bookcover.

    Actually, I think there may be many talented people out there in Singapore with regards to cooking and baking - just that they don’t necessarily blog about it.

    I got the box from Canele when I bought macarons there and just reused it. :o)

    You can drop me an email anytime if you have more questions!

  7. Evan Says:

    oops sorry karen, i hv too many questions.

  8. Karen Says:

    No problem at all, Evan. I just thought we could take our banter “offline” since not everyone would be interested in the discussion. :o)

  9. shai Says:

    hey karen..may i know where u bought the book “Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme”. I’ve found it online but i just wanna know whether u bought it online or at some bookstore here.

  10. Karen Says:

    Hi Shai,

    I bought mine at Kinokuniya. I usually order my cookbooks from Amazon. It’s cheaper (even with the shipping costs included) when you buy several books at a go. But you are only getting one book, it might work out to be the same if you get it from the bookstore directly, especially when they have a storewide discount. :)

  11. shai Says:

    Thanks for ur info..i was thinking of buying online too bt i tot with the shipping and eveything it was kinda expensive… :) bt i will check it out at kinokuniya..

  12. Auntie HN Says:

    Hi Karen, lovely cakes. How about sending some over?

  13. Karen Says:

    Thanks, Auntie HN. The Plaisir Sucré involves quite a bit of work and planning. I don’t intend to make this again anytime soon, but I’ll let you have one the next time I do make it.

  14. ice Says:

    hey! karen! juz happen to chance upon your blog thru flickr & tot your cakes esp this plaisir sucre looks fabu-li-cious!! ate a similar one@laurent’s cafe & choc bar juz yest!
    anyways..your ‘banter’ w evan (bossacafez) is so..erm..bakery-technical!haha..but it’s so interesting! amazes me to know that bakers have so much to yak about when they share recipes! ^_^

  15. Jess Says:

    hello im 17 and i am heading towards a career in hospitality. i really wont to be a chef and i am amazed by what you have made. as im not as experenced as you would you please help me with maybe a very detailed method please please if you have the time with you busy creations. i just would like to expand my knowledge and experence. Thank you

  16. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi Karen,

    Where can we buy the Valrhona chocolates ?

    eliz :)

  17. Karen Says:

    Elizabeth: You can get Valrhona chocolates at Shermay’s Cooking School, Takashimaya basement (one of the chocolate counters) and at Sun Lik on Seah Street.

  18. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi Karen.
    Tks for the info, will check it out.

  19. chocobutt Says:

    hi do you have the recipe for this? i’m interested in making this for my friend’s bday!! :)

  20. Jordan Says:

    Heyyy can I get the recipe? This looks amazing for a comp.

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