Petit Gateau: Giovana Falanga

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s chef de partie Giovana Falanga demonstrates one of her latest original creations in high-end plated desserts; the “Inspiration” petit gateau.

In the last three years, I have been working in fine dining restaurants doing desserts and have been lucky enough to work with great pastry chefs who have helped me build my own knowledge and personal style. One of the most important things I have learnt is to cook with love, flavour, texture and beauty.

At the moment I’m very interested in using layers because it requires utmost precision and skill to achieve an excellent end product. I feel happy and proud every time I cook such a beautifully presented dessert that makes the customers feel excited and delighted.

This dessert bar in particularly shows my personality and the stylistic direction I am going in. I used recipes from each chef I’ve worked with that inspires me, including Alfonso Ales at Jonah’s, John Ralley at Manta and Anna Polyviou here at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. These chefs have taught me to be clean, refined and sharp on my plating; all of which is reflected in this dessert.

– Giovana Falanga



Chocolate sponge

300g dark chocolate
250g butter
150g yolks
50g trimoline
250g egg whites
130g sugar
120g flour

Hazelnut crunch

250g milk chocolate
125g hazelnut praline
50g feulletine
Melt chocolate and hazelnut, fold
feulletine. Spread mixture over the

Dark chocolate ganache

1000g cream
600g dark chocolate

Milk choc mousse

115g cream
115g milk
45g yolks
25g sugar
10g gelatin sheets (bloomed)
375g Milk chocolate
300ml whipped cream

Chocolate tuile

50g caster sugar
50g brown sugar
50ml lime juice
50g melted butter
25g cocoa powder
45g rice flour
10g cocoa nibs

Milk chocolate chantilly

750g cream
600g milk chocolate
2tbs of Milo
• Boil cream and pour over chocolate;
• Mix all together;
• Add Milo; and let it rest overnight.

Coconut mousse cylinder

150g coconut puree (or coconut cream)
37g sugar
7.5g gelatin sheets (bloomed)
90g cream fraiche
185g whipped cream


Chocolate sponge

Melt in bain marie (chocolate and butter). Mix yolks with trimoline and add to chocolate mixture;

Make a meringue with egg white and sugar.

Fold flour into meringue. Fold meringue with chocolate mix; and

Spread a thin layer on a baking paper tray. Bake at 140°C for 12 minutes. Let it cool.

Hazelnut crunch

Melt chocolate and hazelnut, fold feulletine. Spread mixture over the sponges.

Dark chocolate ganache

Bring cream to the boil. Pour over chocolate. Stir till combine.

Milk choc mousse

Make anglaise with the first four ingredients (boil cream and milk, pour over sugar and yolks, back to stove stirring till mixture reach 84°C);

Strain bloomed gelatin and mix with anglaise. Strain over chocolate; and

Whisk till all combine. Let it cool down to a minimum 40°C before fold whipped cream.

Making the layers

Set up a frame. Cut three sponges exactly the size of the frame. Place one of them in the frame (as a first layer) and the other two in two separate trays (frame not necessary once they are the right size);

Spread crunch hazelnut over the three sponges making a very thin layer. Let it cool in fridge for five minutes or until it is set;

Take the “base sponge” in the frame and pour over a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache. Let it cool for 5 min. Place on top of the set ganache the second crunch sponge and repeat these steps twice;

Pour over the layers the milk chocolate mousse, making sure is even and let it set in the freezer for at least six hours; and

Cut the layers into 12×2.5cm rectangles.

Chocolate tuile

Mix all together except cocoa nib. Let it set for an hour;

Make a mould out of a take away lid or anything like that 12×2.5cm;

Spread mixture using a small spatula inside mould over a silica matt;

Sprinkle cocoa nib over it and bake 200°C for six min. If doesn’t get hard after cool it needs to bake another minute or so.

Coconut mousse cylinder

Cut acetate sheets in rectangles, making sure they are at least 13cm long.

Make tubes out of it rolling and holding with tape; and cling wrap one of the ends;

Warm coconut puree and sugar till dissolve. Add gelatin and strain.

Whisk cream fraiche;

Fold whipped cream and pipe mixture inside cylinder; and

Rest in the freezer for at least three hours. When set, cut mousse cylinder 12×2.5cm.

Building the final dessert

Place tuile on top of chocolate mousse layers;

Whip Milo milk chocolate Chantilly until you get a nice consistency to pipe;

Using a piping nozzle number 15 pipe four to five dotes on top of tuile;

Let it set in the freezer for five minutes or until the dotes are hard enough to hold cylinder; and

Place cylinder on top of milk Chantilly dotes, and enjoy!

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