Chocolate Crémeux with a Dacquoise Biscuit

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Superfoods and raw foods may be the culinary trends du jour, but there’s still something about a decadent chocolate dessert that can tip most diet-devotees of the wagon, if only for an indulgent moment.

This is one such dessert. You know the kind: almost too pretty to be eaten, seemingly rich, but wonderfully light at the same time. Transporting, satiating, moreish. Drooling yet? Stop reading, and start baking!

Chocolate and Coffee Crémeux on Dacquoise:

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Ingredients:

  • 200g full cream milk
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 80g egg yolk, about 4 yolk
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 155g dark chocolate
  • 5g instant coffee

Method:

  1. Boil the milk, mascarpone and the instant coffee.
  2. Whisk the yolk and sugar together until slightly white.
  3. Pour the boiled milk over the eggs in two times while whisking non stop!
  4. Cook the mix over medium heat until it reaches 83 degrees Celsius, just like a crème anglaise.
  5. Place the chocolate in an electric mixer bowl and pour the hot mix over it while whisking. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
  6. Transfer the mix into a clean recipient and wrap it with cling film, making sure it’s in direct contact, and place in the fridge until the next day.

Dacquoise:

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Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 35g plain flour
  • 70g Hazelnut powder
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 30g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 240 degrees celsius
  2. Whisk the egg white in an electric mixer until they become slightly firm, then start adding the sugar. Whisk for about 3-4 minutes to obtain a nice meringue.
  3. Gently fold in the icing sugar and hazelnut powder using a rubber spatula.
  4. Then gently add the flour to the meringue.
  5. Spread the mix on a flat baking tray lined with baking paper, about 1cm thickness, and bake for 6 minutes.

Cut the Dacquoise using a round cookie cutter, the size you use is up to you!

Pipe the crémeux on the biscuit using a pipping bag with a star nozzle and garnish with fresh raspberries.

The richness of the crémeux, the nuttiness of the biscuit and the acidity of the raspberries create, I think, a well balanced dessert!

Bon Appétit

Le Fermier

Jean-François’s Mousse au Chocolat: Jean-François Chocolate Mousse

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This decadent dessert is a favourite among restaurant go-ers at the Restaurant de L’Abbaye and I’m thrilled to be able to share the chef’s recipe with you today. Once you taste the rich and creamy texture of this mousse you’ll be surprised at how straightforward it is to make, and because it will keep for a few days in the fridge, I think it’s the perfect ‘wow-factor’ dessert to make in advance when you’re entertaining guests.

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There’s no oven time required for this chocolate mousse, which has the added advantage of allowing you to be creative with your presentation. There are the usual ramekins or decorative bowls, but you could also set the mousse in vintage crystal glasses or teacups for an afternoon tea with a twist.

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The most important thing to keep in mind with this dish is the darker the chocolate you use, the richer the finished product; so don’t overdose on a good thing by serving your guests enormous portions! Less is always more when it comes to indulgence.

Ingredients:

  • 450g dark chocolate
  • 10 egg yolk
  • 10 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Break the chocolate into little pieces and place them into a stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl on a bain-marie, turn the heat to the lowest setting and leave the chocolate to melt slowly.
  2. In the meantime separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Place the yolks into an electric mixer bowl with the sugar and whisk at high speed until it becomes slightly white and fluffy or about double in size. Then pour the mixture in a large mixing bowl and keep aside.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks, i.e. until the mixture holds its shape for a little bit (or another way to know if it’s ready is to tip the bowl upside down and if the misture stays in!)
  4. Combine the melted chocolate and the yolk mixture and slowly fold them together using a spatula.
  5. Then add about a ¼ of the whites at a time and gently mix them with chocolate mixture.
  6. Portion the chocolate mousse into individual little bowl and leave to set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  7. Serve by itself or with some sable biscuit on the side!

hot jam doughnuts filled with chocolate ganache and sour cheery jam

Hot jam doughnuts :

250 g strong white bread flour

50 chilled unsalted butter, diced

7 g dried yeast or 21 g fresh yeast

4 Tbsp caster sugar

1 medium free range eggs

100 ml whole milk ( lukewarm)

Sunflower oil for deep frying

Method : Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large salt, then rub in the  butter with your fingertips. Mix the yeast and a 1/3 of the lukewarm milk and 1 tbsp of sugar then stir through the flour. Make a well in the centre, mix the rest of the lukewarm milk and the eggs and pour into the well. Mix quickly  and bring together into a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until smooth. Put in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film or a lightly wet towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or until double in size.

Divide the dough into 12 evenly size balls, and shape them into smooth balls using the palm of your hands. Place them well apart  on a baking tray lined with baking paper then loosely cover them with a greased piece of cling film. Leave for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat the sunflower oil to 190 degrees. Carefully lower the doughnuts into the oil using a slotted spoon, in batches of 2 or 3. Fry for 30 seconds each side until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain a kitchen paper.

While the doughnuts are still warm, make a whole on the side of the doughnuts and pipe the ganache in the doughnuts. Use the cherry jam a dipping sauce.

Roll the doughnuts in the remaining caster sugar to coat them completely. Serve warm or allow to cool.

For the ganache:

300 ml thickened cream

300 g dark chocolate

Method: Boil the cream and pour it over the chocolate, leave for a few minutes, whisk and leave to cool.

For the cherry jam:

1 jar sour cherries

1 orange peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Method:

Cook the cherries with the orange peels and cinnamon for about 15 minutes then blend and pass it through a thieve.