Chocolate Cremeux with Raspberry Pearls

Categories: Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes, West
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: May 13, 2014
 

My first dessert course for my tasting menu was a Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Caramel Mousse and Raspberry pearls, served on a piece of honeycomb.  This is meant to be a small and light dessert.  The cremeux is the center piece of this dessert, everything else is just in support of it.  This entire dessert can be made well in advance, which was handy because by the time we got to this course we were running on empty (I think the presentation shows it).  This was my first time making a chocolate cremeux and from a bit of research, doing this without a Thermomix would make it a lot harder.  It is effectively a custard with melted chocolate but with the texture of cream whipped until it is stiff.  It melts in your mouth so it is incredibly silky and smooth, creamy but with a nice rich chocolate flavour.  The sea salt brings out the sweetness, it’s great for making dark chocolate less bitter but here it ensures that the chocolate flavour is not too rich.  If you can’t get Maldon smoked sea salt just use any good regular sea salt you have.

I really wanted to get two desserts in the tasting menu, mainly because everyone loves dessert and secondly it was hard to pick just one dessert that went with everything else on the menu.  I wanted the first dessert to be small and relatively easy, while still keeping in with the rest of the menu and allowing me to do some more fun things technically.  The second dessert would be more of a main course, bigger and more grandiose to finish the meal.  In keeping with my four elements per plate rule I got quite a lot of technical cooking going on, in what appears to be a simple dish.  As the entire dish can be done a day in advance there was no pressure, so you can take your time with this one and if you make a mistake, fix it the next day!

All of the elements tie in with the cremeux.  Raspberry and chocolate is a nice combination and turning them into liquid pearls to provide a literal burst of flavour is a nice way to incorporate this classic combination.  The caramel mousse provides an additional sweetness to the dish but the lightness of the mousse contrasts slightly with the thick and creamy cremeux.  The honeycomb is added for texture, its crunch ensures the whole dish doesn’t seem too soft or samey but it’s also another deep, rich and complex flavour to add into the mix.  Despite the amount of work required for this dessert, it’s not too difficult and it is a great way to try making food pearls.  If you need a more detailed explanation on how to make food pearls, see my previous article: Reverse spherification – Making Food pearls.

 

GnY_ChocolateCremeaux
Click to enlarge

 

Ingredients (Serves 8): 

250ml Whipping Cream

250ml Whole Milk

4 Egg yolks (large)

60g Sugar

240g Valrhona Caraibe Chocolate

Smoked Maldon Sea Salt

 

Caramel Mousse:

120g Valrhona Caraibe Chocolate

80g Homemade Caramel Sauce

6 Egg Yolks

380g Double Cream

100g Sugar

65ml Water

2 Sheets Gelatin

 

Honeycomb:

100g Caster Sugar

3 Tbsp Golden Syrup

1 Tsp Bicarb

 

Raspberry Pearls:

250g Raspberries (strained)

2g Sodium Alginate

50g Sugar

5g Calcium Gluconate

1g Xantham Gum

1L Distilled Water

 

Method:

 

Thermomix Chocolate Cremeux:

1.  First add the milk and cream into the Thermomix, then add the egg yolks and sugar.

2.  Set your Thermomix, 8mins / SP4 / 80C. Allow the mixture to cool to 50C.

3.  As the custard is cooling, melt the Chocolate in a bain marie (or 2nd THX bowl), ensuring there are no lumps.

5. Now gradually add the chocolate into the cooled custard with the TMX set to speed 3.

6. Once the last of the chocolate has been added crank up the speed.  SP8 / 30secs or until smooth and well combined.

7.  Pour into a baking tray lined with parchment paper and leave in the fridge to set.

 

Caramel Mousse:

1.  Soften gelatine in cold water for 10-20mins.

2.  Melt chocolate over a bain marie and add the caramel sauce.

3.  Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring up to 120C

4.  Whisk the egg yolks until pale and creamy.

5.  Now slowly pour the hot sugar water into the egg yolks, whisking constantly with an immersion blender.

6.  Add the gelatine to the mix and continue whisking until it forms a firm yellow foam.

7.  Fold your pate a bomb (yellow foam) into the melted caramel chocolate.

8.  Whip the cream and add to the mix, stirring well.  Place in a piping bag ready to serve.

 

Honeycomb:

1.  Combine the sugar and syrup in a pan and stir well.

2.  Place the pan on a low-medium heat and allow the mixture to melt – about 3mins or 150C.

3.  Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the bicarb, this will cause the whole thing to expand and form the honeycomb.

4.  Quickly turn out the still soft honeycomb on to a covered chopping board or baking tray and allow it to cool slightly.

5.  Cut the honeycomb into thick strips (this will form the base of the dessert).

6.  Allow to cool and set before plating.

 

Raspberry Pearls:

1.  First prepare the Sodium Alginate bath by mixing the chilled distilled water, sodium alginate powder and sugar with an immersion blender – this may take several minutes.

2.  Blitz the raspberries and strain.  Add the Xanthan Gum and Calcium Gluconate and combine with an immersion blender.

4.  Allow the alginate bath to rest for at least an hour or ideally overnight.

5.  Prepare another dish with some water.

6.  Using a measuring spoon or other rounded spoon gently drop as many spoonfuls of raspberry juice into the alginate bath as you can, in 30 seconds.

7.  Give the alginate bath a stir, ensuring the pearls are covered on all sides.  “Cook” for two and a half minutes.

8.  Using a slotted spoon remove the pearls from the bath and into the dish of water.  Allow them to sit there for 30 seconds, ensuring they do not touch each other.

9.  Transfer the pearls to a jug or dish of raspberry juice.

10.  Repeat steps 6 to 9 until all the raspberry juice has been used or you have the required amount of pearls.

11.  Store the pearls in the raspberry juice in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

Plating:

1.  Use a large dessert spoon and make a quenelle of the chocolate cremeux.  Place it in the center of the plate.

2.  Take a long slice of the honeycomb and pipe on the caramel mousse.

3.  Scoop out a few raspberry pearls (about 10) using a slotted spoon and arrange them around the quenelle.

4.  Sprinkle some smoked Maldon sea salt on the cremeux – just a few flakes.

5.  Dust the plate with some cocoa and serve.

GnY_RaspberryPearls

 

Tips:

– When making the honeycomb you ideally want a temperature between 145C and 150C.  Lower temps will mean a chewy toffee rather than honeycomb but any higher and you will have a burnt and bitter honeycomb.

– If you can get glucose syrup instead of golden syrup I would recommend you use that to make the honeycomb.  It will be lighter in taste and less sticky (which is ideal for this dessert).

– If the cremeux comes out too heavy and thick with a dark chocolate like colour it has cooled too much during the mixing.  The first time I made the cremeux it came out perfect, the second time I took too long to add the chocolate into the custard and ended up with a really heavy cremeux.  Just return it to the Thermomix and heat it 4mins / SP4 / 60C.  It’s just a case of heating the mix enough to properly combine.

– I tried to put the caramel mousse in a Siphon so I can make it ahead of time but it didn’t hold its shape using this method, so I recommend sticking with an old fashioned piping bag – at least until I can work out how to adjust the recipe to work with a Siphon.



1 Comment - Leave a comment
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