Jennifer Martiné
Dark chocolate mousse encased in liquid shortbread
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Dark Chocolate Mousse Encased in Liquid Shortbread

Bill Corbett, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, San Francisco / November 2012

For 12 servings (requires advance preparation)

Liquid chocolate shortbread:

  • 2 3/4 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (160 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup (200 g) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) cocoa powder
  • 2 tsps. (10 g) salt
  • 15 Tbsps. (210 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 3 1/2 oz. (100 g) Manjari dark chocolate, melted
  1. Heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Place flour, sugar, almond flour, cocoa, and salt in a processor; pulse until mixed; add butter; pulse to a sandy consistency; spread out on baking sheet lined with nonstick baking pad; bake until crunchy; remove from oven; cool.

  3. Place shortbread in processor; process until smooth; with motor running, pour in chocolate; process to a smooth paste.

  4. Place 2 1/2" ring molds on top of 12  2 1/2" acetate squares set on baking sheet; reserve; spread paste on 12 5 7/8" by 2" acetate strips to about 1/8" thick; line rings with shortbread coated acetate strips; freeze.

Stretched chocolate tuile:

  • 2/3 cup (150 g) fondant
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) glucose syrup
  • 3 1/2 oz. (100 g) Manjari dark chocolate
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.

  2. Heat fondant and glucose in a saucepan set over medium-high heat until candy thermometer registers 320°F; reduce heat to medium-low; stir in chocolate until mixture is emulsified and looks like molding chocolate.

  3. Pour onto baking sheet lined with nonstick baking pad; place another nonstick baking pad on top; roll out until as thin as possible; remove top pad; cool. 4. Place in a processor; process to a powder; dust through fine chinois over baking sheet lined with clean nonstick baking pad; cook until melted and bubbling; remove from oven; pull into pieces while warm; reserve.

Rooibos infusion:

  • 2 Tbsps. (30 g) rooibos
  • 2 Tbsps. (30 g) freeze dried raspberries
  • 1 tsp. (5 g) hibiscus flowers
  • 1/4 tsp. (2 g) salt
  • 1/8 tsp. (1/2 g) citric acid
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  1. Place rooibos, raspberries, hibiscus flowers, salt, and citric acid in large bowl; reserve.

  2. Bring vanilla bean and seeds and 3 cups plus 2 Tbsps. (720 g) water to a boil; pour over ingredients in bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Strain infusion through fine chinois into clean bowl; discard solids; reserve infusion.

Rooibos fluid gel:

  • 1 2/3 tsps. (8 g) agar-agar
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (200 g) orange blossom honey
  1. Place 3 cups (700 g) infusion in a saucepan; blend in agar-agar; bring to a boil; stir in sugar and honey; cook, stirring, until sugar and honey are dissolved; remove from heat; place saucepan in ice water bath; cool until set; remove from ice water bath.

  2. Place fluid gel in a blender; blend until smooth; reserve 1/3 cup; divide remaining gel among 1" by 1" cylinder molds placed on baking sheet lined with nonstick baking pad; freeze.

Pâte à bombe:

  • 10 (175 g) lg. egg yolks
  • 1 cup (115 g) nonfat powdered milk
  • 2 Tbsps. plus 2 tsps. (40 g) glucose powder

Mix all ingredients and 3/4 cup water in bowl of stand mixer; set over pot of boiling water; cook, whisking constantly, until candy thermometer registers 180°F; remove from heat; place on stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat until room temperature; reserve.

Dark chocolate mousse:

  • 10 1/2 oz. (300 g) Manjari chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Tbsp. (4 g) salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 g) whipped cream
  1. Place chocolate in a bowl over pot of simmering water; stir until melted; remove from heat; reserve.

  2. Bring cream, sugar, and salt to a boil in a saucepan; gradually add to chocolate, whisking until completely emulsified; fold in 1 1/3 cups pâte à bombe; fold in whipped cream; place in piping bag fitted with large round tip.

  3. Pipe mousse into shortbread coated ring molds until 2/3 full; insert a frozen rooibos cylinder into center of each; cover with more mousse; partially freeze; top each with a 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" acetate square; smooth to seal; freeze solid.

Cacao nib streusel:

  • 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 g) cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. (8 g) salt
  • 14 Tbsps. (200 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 1/4 cups (400 g) fresh raspberries
  • tarragon sprigs (for garnishing)
  1. Heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Place flour, sugar, cacao nibs, cocoa, and salt in a processor; pulse until finely ground; transfer to a bowl; mix in butter; spread out on baking sheet lined with nonstick baking pad; bake until dry and crunchy; remove from oven; cool; place in airtight container; cover; reserve.

  3. Place raspberries in a bowl; add 1/3 cup rooibos fluid gel; toss to coat; reserve.

  4. To serve, place a line of cacao nib streusel down center of flat serving plate (use a ring mold to create an S shape); place glazed berries in small groups so they will hold mousse cylinder in place.

  5. Remove cylinder from ring mold and acetate; place cylinder among mounds of berries; garnish with tarragon and a chocolate tuile; repeat with remaining plates.

What to drink: Wenzel Gelber Muskateller Auslese Rust Bur­gen­land 2006