February 7, 2023

Alain Ducasse protégé Claire Heitzler reveals the ingredients for the perfect festive dessert

Award-winning pastry chef, Claire Heitzler

Award-winning pastry chef, Claire Heitzler, former Park Hyatt Dubai pastry chef, and European cream devotee, gives a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect Pavlova this festive season.

CNIEL – National Interprofessional Center for the Dairy Economy, the umbrella organization for the dairy industry, and the European Union have partnered with one of the world’s foremost pastry chefs, Claire Heitzler, to showcase to the Middle East consumers why European cream is the perfect ingredient this festive season.

Chef Claire trained under her compatriot, renowned French chef Alain Ducasse in Tokyo before putting her dessert expertise to acclaimed success at the Park Hyatt Dubai. The award-winning chef returned to Paris, where she led the pastry team at the Ritz and latterly worked at the famous French luxury bakery and sweets maker, LaDurée, before starting her own consultancy.

Long lauded for its many uses when creating everything from the simplest of desserts to a show-stopping cake, French dairy cream is 100% dairy so 100% natural.  “French cream is my go-to when making desserts. I never could do pastry without French cream. This ingredient is at the base of everything I do, and we’re fortunate to have excellent quality dairy products in France thanks to our unique terroir and farming methods. One of the main qualities of French cream is it can help reduce the bitterness of cocoa, the acidity of lemon, temper certain fruits and the astringency of others, which makes it the perfect ingredient this festive season,” said Chef Claire Heitzler.

French cream is used to enhance aromas and balance all kinds of flavours.

A range of French creams are available throughout the Middle East, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and can be found in local convenience stores and hypermarkets. Brands include Président, Elle & Vire, as well as Waitrose’s own brand which incorporates French crème fraîche and French crème, Candia or even Paysan Breton.

How to prepare the perfect festive treat, the Pavlova – Chef Claire Heitlzer recipe.



100g egg white

100g sugar

100g icing sugar

Beat the egg whites until stiff while progressively adding the powdered sugar. Once the eggs are in stiff, softly add the icing sugar with a spatula.

Poach the meringue in a flower shape and cook for 10 min at 100 degrees, then 1 hour at 80 degrees.

Vanilla Chantilly 

250g French cream

25g sugar

1/2 vanilla pod

Cut the vanilla in two and peel it in the cream.

Add the sugar and beat with the whisk.


One lime

500g raspberries

20g sugar

Squeeze half of the raspberries with the sugar to obtain a marmalade.

Fill the bottom of the meringue flower with marmalade. Add the fresh raspberries and lay a beautiful rose window with chantilly. Peel green citrus zest on the top of the Pavlova.

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