Banana & Chocolate Mousse Cake, Grand Marnier Ice Cream in a Hazelnut Cornet & Fresh Fruit
Jean-Louis Palladin, Fred J. Maroon, Jean-Louis: Cooking with the Seasons - February 19th, 2014
Makes 8 servings
- unsalted butter and all-purpose flour for preparing cake pan
- 5 lg. eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsps. cake flour
- scant 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
Banana mousse filling for cake:
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup (about 1 1/2) overripe bananas, well mashed
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsps. granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsps. dark rum
- 2 tsps. unflavored gelatin
- 1 lg. overripe banana, sliced crosswise into 1 1/2" pieces
Chocolate mousse filling for cake:
- 3 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Grand Marnier ice cream (recipe follows)
- hazelnut cornets (recipe follows)
- 8 med. to lg. oranges, peeled, seeded, and separated into segments without membranes
- about 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 2 doz. fresh strawberries, cut into 1/4” slices
- 16 fresh ripe tamarillos (tree tomatoes), peeled and cut into 1/4" slices (optional)
- sifted confectioners' sugar (for garnish)
- 16 mint sprigs (for garnish)
Make the cake:
Heat oven to 375°F. Butter and lightly flour the 8” cake pan; set aside.
For the cake batter, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large stainless-steel mixing bowl. Bring 2” of water to a boil in a saucepan; while pan is still over high heat, place the mixing bowl over it and cook until the sugar completely dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, whisking constantly; remove from heat. Transfer to the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat at high speed until light and holds a ribbon, about 5 minutes; reduce speed to medium and continue beating 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour and cocoa. When the egg/sugar/vanilla mixture has been beaten 10 minutes, use a slotted spoon to quickly and lightly stir in the flour/cocoa mixture, 1/3 at a time, stirring just until barely blended. Lightly stir in the butter, do not overmix.
Pour the batter gently into the prepared pan. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then unmold onto a platter, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Next, slice 2 horizontal slices 1/2" thick from the chilled cake with a bread knife. Cut the slices into 7” rounds with a 7” springform pan rim; wrap the cake rounds together in plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the banana mousse filling.
For the banana filling, combine 3/4 cup of the cream with the 1 cup mashed bananas and the vanilla in a 2 qt. pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until bananas are very soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Puree mixture in a blender with the sugar and rum until smooth; set aside.
In a very small saucepan, soften the gelatin in 1/4 cup of the cream for about 2 minutes, then cook over high heat just until gelatin completely dissolves, about 1 minute, stirring constantly; add the banana puree, stirring until well blended. Let cool to room temperature (do not refrigerate).
Meanwhile, whip the remaining 3/4 cup cream until soft peaks form; refrigerate. Once the banana mixture is cool, add the whipped cream to it, gently folding until barely blended; set aside (do not refrigerate).
Now place the 7” springform rim in the center of a serving platter and carefully lay 1 of the cake rounds inside it. Pour the banana filling on top of the round without decreasing the filling’s volume. Arrange the banana slices on top to form a small circle in the center of the filling with the ends of slices touching one another. Refrigerate until filling is firm, about 30 minutes.
After the cake has chilled at least 25 minutes, keep it refrigerated while preparing the chocolate mousse filling as follows: Place the chocolate pieces in a medium-size stainless-steel bowl and melt over a pan of slowly simmering water, stirring occasionally; set aside.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula to fold in about 1/4 of the whipped cream and chocolate just until well blended. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until just blended; do not overmix. Spread chocolate filling on top and smooth the surface; cover with cake round, lightly pressing it to expel any air bubbles and make the cake of even thickness. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight; keep refrigerated until ready to unmold and serve.
To finish the dish and serve:
If desired, 1 day ahead, prepare the Grand Marnier ice cream to the point of freezing and prepare the batter for the hazelnut cornets; refrigerate.
On the day of serving, freeze the ice cream as directed; if needed, transfer from ice cream machine to freezer to store until ready to serve. As close to serving time as possible, finish the cornets.
First, unmold the cake. To do this, heat a sharp thin-bladed knife in hot water, dry it, and carefully loosen the sides of the cake, then carefully remove the springform pan. Sprinkle cake generously with confectioners' sugar, and slice into 8 wedges, reheating and drying the knife before cutting each slice. Arrange a wedge of cake to one side of each serving plate. Beside each wedge arrange a portion of the orange segments in a circular pattern; mound about 12 raspberries on top, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and garnish with a mint sprig. Fan a portion of the strawberry slices and, if using, the tamarillo slices on the plate; fill a cornet with a scoop of ice cream formed into a quenelle (oval shape) and position it next to the strawberries and tamarillos; garnish ice cream with a mint sprig. Serve immediately.
Grand Marnier ice cream:
Makes about 1 qt.
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup tightly packed pieces orange peel
- 7 lg. egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps. Grand Marnier
In a heavy 3 qt. nonreactive saucepan, combine the cream, milk, orange juice, and orange peel. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, whisking vigorously until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Return the cream mixture to a boil, then remove from heat, and gradually add the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping pan bottom evenly with a wooden spoon, just until it thickens and leaves a distinct trail on the back of the spoon when you draw a finger through it, about 2 to 3 minutes; do not let mixture boil. Immediately strain through the chinois into the bowl. Stir in the Grand Marnier, promptly cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Freeze in the ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions until firm, about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of machine used.
Makes about 1 doz. cornets
- scant 3/4 cup hazelnuts, shelled, dry roasted, cooled, and finely chopped with a knife
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps. granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps. light or dark corn syrup
- 3 Tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
Make the batter:
In a medium-size bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cornets, mixing thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. (The batter may be made up to 3 days ahead; keep refrigerated until used.)
To finish the cornets:
Heat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. For each cookie, place 2 rounded tsps. of batter on the prepared cookie sheet, at least 3 inches apart. With moistened fingertips, spread each portion out to form a 3” round with no holes in it; make sure the hazelnuts are evenly distributed in the round. Bake until dark golden brown, about 9 to 11 minutes, turning pan after 5 minutes to brown the lace-like cookies evenly; watch carefully so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool just a few seconds until cookies can be peeled off the paper; then, while they are still pliable, work quickly to form each, 1 at a time, into a cornet. To do this, first peel the cookie off the paper (if the cookies ran together, cut them apart before peeling) and place on a work surface, smooth side up; roll the cookie around a cornet mold to form a small ice cream cone shape. Let the cornet cool a few seconds, then slip the mold out of it. Repeat with remaining cookies. If any cookies harden before being shaped into cornets, return to the hot oven a moment to soften. Handle these fragile cornets carefully and use immediately or within a few hours. If not using promptly, store in an airtight container.
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