Pastry Play
Italy's National Selection

In the culinary world, nothing compares to freshness — of recipes, of ingredients, and designs. This was also the essence of the extra fresh assignment of the National Selection: PASTRY PLAY.


To win over the jury, contestants were asked to immerse them in surprising flavours by creating a deliciously fresh chocolate patisserie — from scratch. But that was just the beginning. They were required to use 2 mandatory ingredients, putting their creativity to the test to make their pastry stand out. Just like the other assignments, this one required chefs to think outside the box and come up with ideas that rebelled against the standard.


Take a look at the outstanding creations straight from Italy's National Selection:

Spinning top

by chef Francesco Maggio


For this assignment, Francesco Maggio was inspired by a game representing the changes of life. This fresh pastry was a journey through different textures: a chewy brownie made with Cacao Barry's Evocao Wholefruit chocolate and Nature Fruitée cacao powder, a soft pear ferment, a weightless yoghurt cheese cream (fermentino), and a smooth cremeux made with Cacao Barry Madirofolo.


Life can be bittersweet, the combination of ingredients aspired to mimic this feeling: the intensity and citrus bitterness of Madirofolo met the slight acidity of the fermentino. Meanwhile, the tangy signature of Evocao Wholefruit and the notes of sweet spices of the Nature Fruitée surrounded the gentle sweetness of pears and their surprising "balsamic" fermentation effect.


The contestant finished off the pastry with colourful decorations infused with the powerful roasted cocoa taste of Cacao Barry Lactée Supérieure.

A-maze-ing tart

by chef Tommaso Grollero


This was the Fresh Pastry of Tomasso Grollero: made with Cacao Barry Alunga chocolate at the heart.The contestant combined the intense cacao taste and mild milky character of this chocolate with banana and mango. He achieved an exciting contrast, with bold yet elegant flavours.


Tomasso also played with textures that feature: crispy roasted and ground cocoa nibs in dark caramel; silky, smooth chocolate Alunga cremeux, poached mango and banana cream, soft chocolate frangipane.The shape of Tomasso’s pastry was inspired by the playful memories of childhood games.

Chocolate dice

by chef Mohammed Elkourik


This was the Fresh Pastry by Mohammed Elkourik. He used an almond biscuit as a smooth base to combine the softness of a mousse, the richness of a cremeux, and the crunchiness of Callebaut Pailleté Feuilletine crumble.


To maintain the balance of the fruity sensations of his creations so far, Mohammed went for counteractive flavours: a strong caramel and salty notes from the Cacao Barry Zéphyr Caramel chocolate, the natural sweetness of peaches, tangy softness that came from the squacquerone cheese, and the gentle bitterness of almonds.


In his search for balance, the contestant paired antagonistic ingredients to achieve overall flavour harmony.


by chef Eris Mone


This Pastry Play assignment was prepared LIVE by Eris Mone during the Italian WCM National Selection. Aligned with his representation of fantasy and imagination, the contestant looked to convince the jury with a combination of different types of sweetness. Peaches offered a sweetness with very slight acidity, that he combined with the full-bodied taste and fruity notes of Callebaut 811.


The flavour journey was met with a contrast offered by surprising textures that included the following: a silky 811 chocolate casting, a smooth fresh peach gel, a crunchy fioretto made with corn flour, and a soft and creamy Bavaroise made with Amaretto paste.


The result? A thrilling combination of carefully structured sweetness.

Monday, 22 January, 2024