Recently RachelD suggested that I do a demo on one of my desserts, so here we go...
In general know that I think upside down with my desserts since that is normally how I assemble them. The first thing to cross my mind is the flavor combination that I want to feature. In this case I had a jar of brandy soaked chestnuts and I wanted to pair it with a light dark chocolate (64%). Chestnuts scream France to me and because of the movie Vatel I wanted to use my Babel mold. That got thrown on the white board to be stewed over for a few days until I could work it into my schedule.
You may see that I decided to add an orange disc and that my electrician is going to cost me $2500! You'll also notice that I typically do double duty so I made extra orange discs and threw them in some pistachio mousse for a different dessert.
I begin with a chocolate mousse from Hermé:
1 3/4 C. Cream
2 Eggs, room temp
4 Egg yolks, room temp
10 oz Chocolate, chopped small - I used Cocoa Barry 64%
1/2 C. Sugar
3 T. Water
Whip cream to med-firm peaks. Hold in cooler. In mixer whip eggs for a just a few seconds to break them up. Melt chocolate in microwave or stove top and allow to cool to 114ºF. In sauce pan combine sugar and water and bring to a boil until 257ºF (at altitude I only go to 255º). Carefully pour the sugar into the yolks with the mixer on low, then increase speed to high and whip for about 5 minutes or until pale and doubled. Fold a quarter of the cream into the chocolate, then combine the remaining cream. Very carefully fold in the egg mixture into the cream mixture. Put in piping bag.
Then I made an orange curd ala Johnny Iuzzini with a few sheets of gelatin added to ensure stability. These were frozen in discs.
On to the assembly. A good splotch of mousse into the mold, followed by an orange disc pressed in to remove air pockets. A bit more mousse on top of the orange, followed by a dollop of the processed chestnuts which reeked of brandy.
That was then topped (or bottomed as the case may be) by a flourless chocolate disk, again from Hermé:
115 g (4 oz) Dark chocolate
87 g (6 T) Unsalted butter, softened
142 g (1/2 C) Sugar
1 t. Dutch processed cocoa
2 L Egg yolks
1 L Egg
6 L Egg whites
Melt chocolate and cool to 114ºF. Cream butter, 3 T of sugar and the cocoa. Add the yolks and then the eggs. It will look gross at this point, but don't worry. Next add the melted chocolate and mix only until satiny. Don't overmix. In separate bowl, whip whites to soft peaks and add the remaining 5 T of sugar gradually. Whip until glossy and firm. Fold a quarter of the whites into the chocolate, then add the remaining whites until consistent. Spread on a silpat or parchment, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. Once out of the oven, cool, then cut into desired shapes.
Next, freeze them bad boys until hard. At this point let me say that if you don't have fancy molds (available at ChefRubber.com and other places), just use a silicon muffin pan. It will still be a way cooler dessert than anyone else's at the potluck. Now, pop them out of the mold.
See how the bottom became the top. For these I gave a quick spray of orange cocoa butter and then slapped some chocolate on a transfer sheet to get a little bling going.
I boxed them and ran off to a party to listen to the oohs and aahs....little did they know I cranked these out with less than 30 minutes of active work. Now, RachelD, go give it a try!
Swiss Alps Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico
5 days ago