Chef Albert Roux created a dessert called Sablé aux Fraise for the MOF, Meilleur Oeuvre de France, competition. The dessert is the essence of simplicity consisting of French shortbread disks layered with fresh seasonal berries and a coulis of the berry for a sauce. At Roux's flagship restaurant, we made the dough by hand and finished with a sort of smearing technique that mixes the dough and keeps it tender.
I recall on morning at Chef Albert's flagship restaurnat, Le Gavroche. The apprentice pastry chef Joel and just pulled some slightly overcooked sablé disks out of the oven and set them on the landing near the stairs. Naturally, Chef Albert came into the kitchen. A shout came out, "Joel, venez ici." The chef took his cane and wacked each disk to bits. Lesson learned.
Over the years I have made a number of variations on the sablé theme and burnt a few trays as well.
Chef Michael Hutchings
Chocolate sablé, mocha butter cream and raspberries
Pistachio Sablé, lemon curd and tangerines
Hazelnut Sablé, caramelized apples and cinnamon anglaise
Graham Sablé, chocolate ganache, marshmallow cream
Macadamia Nut Sablé, caramelized bananas, coconut cream
Sablé, peaches, raspberry cooulis, vanilla ice cream