Get your fill of new ideas and tips with the pastry chefs at L’École Valrhona! Breathe new life into your pastries and chocolates, and dream up unique restaurant dishes and desserts. Explore the four issues of Creative Gatherings and find your way to be more creative, offering ranges like no other.

This third guide to all the latest trends – 3. Illusions – shows pastry-making in a whole new light using humor and imagination. From sleights of hand to tricks of the eye, visual effects and misdirection, our pastry chefs are teaching us how to play with outward appearances and twist reality in our search for culinary delight. Melba toast is transformed, chocolate bars metamorphose into frivolous games, desserts take on an enigmatic transparency and dishes become fiendish origami. With their fantastical ideals, our pastry chefs are encouraging you to shake up both form and function and let your senses run wild, so that you can give your customers the delightful experiences of their dreams. Play with visual effects, appearances, textures and disjunctions: The possibilities are endless when it comes to dazzling your gourmet diners.

Because they are so singular and sometimes abstract, your desserts will attract and fascinate customers. The one thing we know for sure is real are the heightened senses that these gourmet creations provide.

Be enchanted by all the magic and fantasy of 3. Illusion. From page to page, our chefs reveal secrets, tips and techniques, like magicians revealing magic tricks.


It has the crunchiness and shape of melba toast, and it goes beautifully with jam or spreads – But it is much more gourmet and flavorsome!
Our pastry chefs have revisited the classic melba toast – or French biscotte – with these fine French meringue bases for spreads. It’s a simple trick. All you need do is cut out a template which you’ll use to give your meringue a mini-melba toast shape. You can serve them with a little pot of artisanal star anise and raspberry jam or a 60% hazelnut and chocolate paste.
This simple, amusing creation harks back to the breakfast spreads of childhood, making for a fun, nostalgic snack. Serve it in a pretty box and it will undoubtedly become an original gift for convivial occasions. The meringue is easy to keep and doesn’t lose its crunchy texture.
Whether or not they like their melba toast dripping with jam, children and adults alike will find it mouthwatering. 

Check the recipe:

This creation’s enigmatic transparent sheathe hints at the shapes and colors within. We are left to delectably imagine extraordinary textures and flavors… This gluten-free dessert will intrigue no end of customers.

It plays with the suggestion and mystery of transparency. Spark curiosity and excite imaginations, and your customers will enjoy discovering your creations all the more.
A riot of flavors and textures is waiting to burst out before your gourmets’ eyes, including chestnut shortcrust, namelaka filling, pistachio streusel, candied citrus fruit and edible flowers.

This dessert is protected with a transparent sheet of rice paper subtly flavored with passionfruit syrup.

Rice paper is rarely used for pastries, but its advantages are that it stays transparent even once it has been steeped in a flavor and it is gluten-free. The same is true of the chestnut shortcrust. But be careful: It does become more fragile once it has been steeped.

This unique, innovative dessert can be made for sale in stores, as take-out finger food or as a plated dessert. Gluten-free fans will be thrilled.

Check the recipe:

With a little sleight of hand, could a maze turn into a chocolate bar? Or could a chocolate bar turn into a maze? Either way, playing with your food is no longer forbidden – Far from it, in fact!

Our pastry chefs have never given up on their childlike sense for play, so they wanted to create a chocolate bar which is also a game, an object, and a maze. Their objective? Challenging your customers to bite into their bar only once they’ve solved the puzzle!

The idea is simple: Chocolate is poured into a thermoform square maze mold, and you must move crunchy pearls to find your way through. Valrhona’s Atelier Création would like to help you make a mold of your favorite game, from a 3D jigsaw to a tangram and everything in between – Anything is possible!

For adults, this multi-dimensional bar deliciously brings back childhood memories. As for kids, they’ll be delighted they are finally allowed to play with their food. What’s more, they will enjoy every bite afterwards!


Folds, cut-outs and multi-sides… This time, shape and material create the illusion. This dessert’s decorations play with artistic looks and shapes to create the effect of movement and a sense of weightlessness. This is a perfect exercise in Japanese-inspired style.

The prismatic shapes, origami and multi-sided surfaces of contemporary design have inspired our pastry chefs. Their Guanaja dessert is lent an extra finesse thanks to the shape and design of its decor, which resembles minimalist modern architecture.

Discover the simple, inventive trick behind the tiny folded squares that decorate the dessert: Pre-crystallized dark couverture chocolate is spread over a sheet of card, before squares are cut out using a scalpel and gently folded. This provides the perfect illusion of an origami cube.

The surface’s delicately sculpted relief gives the impression of movement, as well as origami’s characteristic weightlessness.

The spectacular, mind-bending result guarantees you a successful and original dessert. Offer your customers a product of this kind and you’re giving them something truly prestigious. It is undoubtedly an item to show off in your displays.

Check the recipe: