Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to make the dessert in that picture

Chocolate Mousse Shots with Salted Caramel and Whipped Creme Fraiche

A combination of a recipe from Dining In, by G. Garvin and one by Nancy Silverton in Great Gatherings

For the mousse

½ c. whole milk
2 c. whipping cream
4 egg yolks
½ c. sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
10 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine the milk and ½ cup of the cream. Bring to boiling on high heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until well combined. Whisk a small amount of the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Gradually whisk in the rest. Add the vanilla and continue to whisk. Stain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. While still hot, pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate in a bowl set over hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Set aside and cool. Whip the remaining 1 ½ cups of cream until soft peaks form. When the chocolate mixture is no longer warm to the touch, stir in a small amount of whipped cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the mousse carefully into small glasses. Set in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to 2 days.

For the caramel sauce

¾ c. heavy cream
¼ vanilla bean, split
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. light corn syrup
¾ cup sugar
1/3 c. water (about)
1 ½ tsp fleur de sel

Pour the cream into a small saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean, then add the scrapings and the pod to the pot. Place pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until cream begins to simmer. Add the butter, stir, remove from heat and set aside. Get a large bowl of ice water ready. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the corn syrup and the sugar. Add enough water to make a wet, sandy texture. Place over medium high heat, bring to a boil, and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan to check on carmelization, for 10 minutes, or until the sugar turns a medium amber color. Remove from the heat and add the cream mixture. Careful – it will bubble a lot! Whisk to combine until smooth. Put the pot in the ice water bath and let cool. Pour a thin layer of caramel sauce on top of the mousse, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the refrigerator. Can be made a day ahead.

Fresh whipped creme fraiche

½ pint of whipping cream
¼ c. of crème fraiche
2 Tbs. of powdered sugar
dash of vanilla extract

Whip cream and crème fraiche in chilled bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla, mix until just combined. Can be made 3 hours ahead and chilled until serving.

To assemble:

Just before serving, take mousse glasses out of the fridge. Sprinkle a few grains of good quality sea salt on top of the caramel. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to each glass, garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired, and serve.

Just for the record, no matter how much fun I had doing this party, I will never ever go into the catering business as a job. It's really hard!!!

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