Chef’s Nest: 5-Star Pastry Ambassador Chef Frederic Monti Shares His Talents with Houston

Bringing both his impressive pastry skills and engaging personality to Sunbelt Imports in Houston, TX, Chef Frederic Monti, corporate pastry chef for PreGel AMERICA, showcased some innovative techniques on classic flavor combinations in pastry during his 5-Star Ambassador demonstration on April 3, 2012.

Local Houston pastry chefs and business owners enjoyed the two-hour demonstration, where they gained insight into PreGel’s 5-Star Chef Pastry Select line, as well as learned valuable techniques and tasted numerous delicious recipes.

Chef Monti began the demo by preparing the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Pronto Crème Brûlée, in order to show the audience the simplicity of preparation that goes into any of the Pronto products. He prepared individual servings of this cold process dessert, then finished each one with the classic burnt sugar topping. The audience was not only very impressed by the simplicity of the preparation, but also by the delicious finished product.

Next up was Chef Monti’s main attraction, a spin on the American classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a Peanut Butter & Jelly Verrine. He prepared each layer of the verrine, starting with the bottom layer of Vanilla Cremeaux, which showed another creative way to utilize the Pronto Crème Brulee. Next came a layer of the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Strawberry Filling, which complemented the cremeaux beautifully. On top of the strawberry filling Chef Monti layered decadent pieces of chocolate crumble, which he also passed around to the eager audience for them to taste. Next came a layer of Strawberry Mousse Foam, in which Chef Monti utilized both the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Strawberry Compound, a deliciously intense strawberry flavor with seeds, as well as PreGel Textura, a vegetarian gelatin replacement. Finally, Chef Monti finished the dessert with the peanut portion, a Peanut Air Cake. The innovative preparation of this dessert involved pouring the cake batter into a foam canister and charging, then microwaving. The result was a delicious fluffy sponge cake, flavored with the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Peanut Paste. The finished verrine looked as beautiful in the glass as it tasted, with layers of vibrant color and texture. The audience was certainly not disappointed!

In addition to the delicious Peanut Butter & Jelly Verrine and Crème Brûlée, Chef Monti also treated the guests to some of his other confection creations, including a Coconut Mango Macaron, Coffee Bon Bon, Coconut Marshmallow and White Mint Marshmallow.

Following the conclusion of the demonstration, Chef Monti received praise from the audience. Hope to see you at the next 5-Star Pastry Ambassador event!

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Verrine

Vanilla Cremeaux

100g3.5oz5-Star Chef Pastry Select Pronto Crème Brûlée


  1. Whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Pour into desired dish and allow it to set.

Chocolate Crumble

150g5.3ozcold butter
150g5.3ozbrown sugar
150g5.3ozalmond flour
150g5.3ozcake flour
38g1.3ozPreGel Cacao Togo (Cocoa Powder)
1 pinch1 pinchsalt
113g3.9ozCacao Barry Saint
Dominque Origine
Rare Dark Couverture, 70%
75g2.6ozCacao Barry Mycro®


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Add cold butter and cut into the mixture until it resembles coarse sand.
  3. Melt the chocolate.
  4. Slowly pour melted chocolate over the mixture just until it comes together.
  5. Turn the mixture out onto a parchment-lined sheet tray and refrigerate until firm.
  6. Crumble mixture by hand into small pieces onto a silpat-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the oven at 176°C/350°F until done.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly; toss gently in Mycro®.

Strawberry Mousse Foam

250g8.8ozBoiron Strawberry Puree
250g8.8ozheavy cream
30g1.1oz5-Star Chef Pastry Select Strawberry Compound
125g4.4ozegg yolks
20g0.7ozPreGel Textura (Mousse Base - Gelatin Replacement)

  1. Combine the Boiron Strawberry Puree with the heavy cream in a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Combine the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to combine.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat to 85°C/185°F; remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in the PreGel Textura (Mousse Base – Gelatin Replacement) and the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Strawberry Compound.
  6. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl in an ice bath and cool the product completely.
  7. Pour mixture into a foam gun, charge twice and chill thoroughly. Shake well before dispensing.

Peanut Air Cake

130g4.6ozegg white
80g2.8ozegg yolk
20g0.7ozall-purpose flour
1.6g0.06ozbaking powder
150g5.3oz5-Star Chef Pastry Select Peanut Paste
25g0.9ozSpanish olive oil
50g1.8ozheavy cream

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain the mix.
  3. Put into foam canister and charge with three chargers.
  4. Fill up a paper cup halfway with the cake mix from the foam gun.
  5. Microwave for one minute, or as needed depending on size.
  6. Remove from microwave and place directly in the freezer to set the cake.
  7. Remove and use as desired.

  1. Pour the vanilla cremeaux into the bottom of desired verrine glass. Place in refrigerator and allow it to set completely.
  2. Place a layer of the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Strawberry Filling on top of the Cremeaux.
  3. Spoon some of the chocolate crumble on top of the 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Strawberry Filling.
  4. Dispense the strawberry mousse foam on top of the crumble.
  5. Break the peanut air cake into small pieces and arrange nicely on top of the strawberry mousse foam.
  6. Garnish as desired.