Anna Polyviou of The Shangri-La Hotel Sydney is one of Australia's most talented pastry chefs. Bringing a fun, cool twist to the world of pastry, the award-winning chef shares one of her breath-taking desserts.

Anna’s Mess

Strawberry gel
500ml strawberry puree
125ml water
325g caster sugar
40g dextrose
15g citrus acid
15g yellow pectin

Bring the strawberry puree to 40°C. Stir in the dry ingredients except for the pectin and 100g of the sugar. Once it has reached boiling, stir together the pectin and 30g of sugar and add to the puree. Allow to boil to 105°C and whisk in the citrus acid. Remove from heat, then pour a small amount into a bowl and place into the refrigerator to test.

Cara Crakine crunch
200g dark chocolate (Venezuela Cacao Barry)
200g Cara Crakine Cacao Barry
50g black sesame seeds

Melt the chocolate and Cara crackling together over a bain marie. Take off the heat and add in the sesame seeds. Mix together until smooth then thinly roll out between two sheets of baking paper. Place onto a tray and out into the freeze until solid.

Rose and French vanilla tea mousse
625ml milk
270g yolks
125g sugar
25g gelatine
1L cream, semi-whipped
50g Rose and French vanilla tea leaves

Make an anglaise with the milk, yolks, and sugar. Add the gelatine and the tea leaves and allow to infuse for 8 minutes. Strain the anglaise and allow to cool over an ice bath. When cool, fold in the cream.

Joconde sponge
375g whole eggs
375g icing sugar
375g almond meal
100g plain flour
375g egg whites
25g caster sugar
40g butter, melted

Per tray: 780g
Pre-heat the oven to 210°C. In an electric mixer whisk the eggs and icing sugar to a cold sabayon. While the eggs are whisking, start to whisk the whites in a separate bowl. When the whites start to become fluffy add in the caster sugar. Whisk until soft peaks. Take off the machine and fold in the almond meal and plain flour, by hand. Then fold in the meringue, followed by the melted butter. Weigh out 780g onto each tray and spread out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes at 210°C. Let out the steam and continue baking for further 3 minute. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reserve until needed.

White chocolate and feuilletine crunch
225g white chocolate (Zephyr Cacao Barry)
600g feuilletine

Over a bain marie, melt the chocolate until smooth. Take off the heat and fold though the feuilletine. Thinly spread out onto the almond dacquoise. Place into the freezer until needed.

White spray
300g cocoa butter
30g white colour powder

Melt the cocoa butter, but not too hot. Mix slowly into the white colour, blend into smooth then sieve though a fine strainer. Cool the colouring down to 34°C and then use.

White chocolate dome
2kg white chocolate (Zephyr Cacao Barry)
200g cocoa butter
20g white colour powder

Melt 1500g of the white chocolate up to 45°C, seed in the remaining 500g of chocolate. Melt the cocoa butter and blitz in the white colour. Mix in the white cocoa colour into the chocolate and blitz. Temper the chocolate to 28-29°C and use.

White chocolate ½ sphere with holes cut out of it, to see inside the sphere
Vanilla bavarois with sponge and white chocolate and feuilletine crunch. Sprayed with white cocoa colour and splattered with pink cocoa colour. Both colours are edible.
Rose and French vanilla tea mousse
Cara Crakine (mix of caramel milk chocolate and toasted biscuit cereals), dark chocolate and black sesame crunch.
White chocolate ½ sphere, with a white chocolate base.
Strawberry gel that will flow out when the bottom sphere is cut open.
The sphere is finished off with meringue kisses, strawberries, raspberries and baby basil.
Test tube filled with pop-rocks

Anna's hot tip
“The chocolate work is hard and at the same time, working with cacao butters and colours, there is a lot of technique and with so many components, it takes a day to get it done. I wanted a signature creation and of course it ends up taking so much time: cutting the holes out, the spraying of the chocolate, tempering chocolate and using colours.”

Photography by Nikki To