inspired food

Snow Day

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long!
I have been working on 30 molecular gastronomy based recipes for a cookbook I am creating, and year 12 does not leave much time for sleep in between!
This recipe is inspired by the whimsical nature of a snow day. The chocolate mousse is based on my favorite cinnamon and nutmeg hot chocolates in the middle of winter that are the only reason I survive cold days. The sphere itself is a resemblance of a snow ball, accompanied by a ‘cheats’ molecular gastronomy dessert signature – coconut dessert ‘caviar’.

I will be posting some of the recipes I will be including in my cookbook throughout the next 2 months, which are all molecular gastronomy based desserts designed for every day lovers of food to be able to create inexpensively and easily.

This recipe is of medium difficulty, but don’t worry, the only tricky part is tempering chocolate, which is easy to learn with practice 🙂

Makes: 3

Snow Day

Chocolate, Coconut, & Cinnamon

Special Equipment:

  • Candy thermometer
  • Digital scales
  • Silicon semi-spherical mold
  • Large pipette/Cooking syringe

Tempered White Chocolate Semi-Spheres

Ingredients:

  • 220g high quality white chocolate

Method:

  1. Fill a small sauce pan with a ½ cup of water and place on a high heat until boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, measure out 45g of white chocolate and set aside, this will be added later in the second stage of tempering.
  3. Using a glass bowl, place the white chocolate into the bowl and place on top of the saucepan with the boiling water.
  4. Turning the heat off, place a candy thermometer into the white chocolate and observe the temperature. Gently stir the white chocolate as it melts, watching the temperature rise. When the chocolate is melted and reaches a temperature of 38- 40⁰C, take the bowl off the saucepan and add the remaining white chocolate.
  5. Stir till the chocolate as melted and once the temperature falls to 29-30⁰C, place the bowl back to the saucepan and heat till the chocolate reaches a temperature of 32⁰C.
  6. Using the semi-sphere mold, take a spoonful of white chocolate and coat the surface of the semi-sphere till a thin layer has adhered. Repeat with the remaining 5 molds, and then place in the fridge to harden and cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the molds have hardened for 5 minutes, take the remaining chocolate and apply a second layer, taking care to apply a thicker amount to the rim of the mold (the chocolate will trickle down, but the edges require the most reinforcing).
  8. Place the molds in the fridge and leave to cool until assembly.

Coconut Dessert ‘Caviar’

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp. gelatin (vegetarian substitute: agar agar)
  • 2 cups refrigerated vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp. chilled water
  • Ice
  • ¼ cup salt

Method:

  1. Store vegetable oil in a container in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or until chilled).
  2. In a small bowl bloom (mix) the gelatin with the cold water and stir until combined.
  3. Using a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and cream until simmering (but not boiling). Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture, stirring till completely dissolved. Leave the liquid to cool in the saucepan.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the oil for the ice-bath. Take a large metal bowl and place ice, ¼ cup salt and water till the bowl is 1/3 filled. Take a smaller metal bowl and pour in the oil, then gently lower the bowl into the ice-bath, taking care not to spill the oil.
  5. Prepare the gelatin mixture by pouring it into a large pipette or a cooking syringe. Begin by pouring 3 drops of the mixture in a steady stream, so that they form a single sphere. Repeat till a 1/3 of the mixture has been used, allowing for 20 seconds resting time between each sphere to allow the sphere to set.
  6. Wait for 5 minutes once 1/3 of the mixture has been used, then place a metal bowl with a mesh sieve next to the oil bowl. Gently lift the oil bowl and pour the caviar into the mesh sieve, then transfer the sieve over to the sink, and gently trickle water over the caviar to clean any excess oil. Place the caviar into an air tight container, and repeat the process until all the liquid has been used.

Cinnamon & Nutmeg Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. thickened cream
  • 100g high quality milk chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. unrefined sugar

Method:

  1. Heat ½ cup of water in a saucepan till boiling.
  2. Place thickened cream and milk chocolate in a glass bowl. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and place the bowl on top of the saucepan, stirring till the chocolate and cream has turned liquid and glossy.
  3. Once the chocolate and cream has melted, take the bowl off of the saucepan and leave to cool (the cooling process can be sped up by placing the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes).
  4. Once the chocolate and cream has cooled, whisk in 2 egg yolks, till a glossy mixture has formed.
  5. In a clean, dry bowl, whip 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar (assists in stabilizing the egg whites and maintaining aeration), and whip till stiff peaks form.
  6. Using a large metal spoon or spatula, fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture (do not worry about being gentle initially; this is to ease the folding process). Continue to fold in the egg whites until the mousse is light and doubled in volume.
  7. Transfer the mousse to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.

Assembly

Components:

  • White chocolate semi-spheres
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg mousse
  • Coconut ‘dessert’ caviar
  • Desiccated/shredded coconut (for garnish)
  • Icing sugar (for garnish)
  • Raspberries (for garnish) (can be substituted for berry of choice)
  • Rectangular plate

Method:

  1. Very gently remove the white chocolate semi-spheres from the molds, and gather into 3 pairs.
  2. Place the mousse into a large piping bag, fitted with a large circular tip. Pipe a dot of mousse onto the center of the plate where the bottom sphere will sit. Taking 1 semi-sphere, pipe the chocolate mousse until the mousse fills the shell. Sprinkle coconut over the layer of mousse until completely covered, then pipe mousse on top of the shell till 1/3 taller than the edge of the shell. Place the top semi-sphere shell on top of the mousse, and gently press to seal the spherical shape.
  3. Place the sphere on to the plate, using the mousse to secure the sphere.
  4. Take the coconut caviar and scatter a generous handful running along the center of the plate, then sprinkle coconut over the caviar.
  5. Gently dust icing sugar over the sphere till the top of the sphere has a thick layer and takes on the appearance of being ‘snowed on’.
  6. Line the raspberries (or berries of choice) around the sphere in a circle, obscuring the bottom of the sphere. Give a final dusting of icing sugar.
  7. Serve chilled.