Friday, April 30, 2010

Tropical Dark Love

So this dessert was desgined specially for a dinner invite by our friends A and G who went through laborious efforts to make an absolutely scrumptious dinner! To friendship..
This dessert platter comprises of a light and fluffy Red Fruits Bavarois with Mango Pineapple Carpaccio and Dark Chocolate Basil Scandinavian Cupcake.

For the Red Fruit Bavarois
A Bavarois or a Bavarian Cream is usually made of cream, eggs and sugar and it is normally set with gelatine. Keeping the spirit of summer in mind, I wanted to make something without cream, and also because we can all do without the after effects of cream ;) But then to draw outside the lines isn't accepted in la France!
This recipe is taken from my bible: Le Larousse des Desserts by Pierre Hermé, however, I must say, that I was rather disappointed by the proportions and I am sure they made a printing mistake regarding the quantities, so this is a bridged version:

500 g red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, redberries)
120 g powdered sugar
7 Gelatin sheets
300 ml cream
30 g icing sugar

* Make a purée of all the red fruits. Pass this purée through a seive to get rid of the seeds or small pepins. If you are using frozen fruits, defrost them first and then purée them.
* Put the sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Drain them and set aside after 15 minutes
* Heat a quarter of the purée in a large pan with the powdered sugar (be careful, as once the liquid is hot, it boils and jumps all over the place!). Once it boils, reduce the flame and add the gelatine. Mix rigourously so as to avoid any lumps from forming.
* Now add the rest of the purée and mix well. Add the cream and then the icing sugar and mix thouroughly.
* Cook on a low flame till the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Keep aside to cool for 15 minutes.

* Grease the moulds you would like to use for the Bavarois. Make sure you use moulds that can be unmolded easily.
* Once the mixture has cooled slightly, pour it into the moulds and set to cool in the refigerator. The cream takes roughly 8-10 hours to set.
* Before serving demould the dessert by turning out on the desire plate. If you are having difficulty unmolding, then dip the bottom of the mold in warm water, just dip for a couple of minutes, not submerge ok?
* And voilà, you have a pretty bavarian cream ducky on your plate.

For the Mango Pineapple Carpaccio
Slice as finely as possible the fruits you chose. If you aren't really deft with the knife, just chop the fruits and call it a Mango Pineapple Tartare :D

Dark Chocolate Basil Scandinavian Cake
This cake was for a friend C who has gluten allergy, and once she had made this amazing Flourless Chocolate Basil Cake which was to die for! I recently bought a very fine Venezuelan 75% Coco Chocolate (1 kilo of it actually, so you'll be seeing a lot of chocolate recipes coming up!) and I had to simply use it. The cake turned out superb, so give it a try..Believe me its the easiest cake recipe ever..

226 g butter
200 g dark chocolate (chopped)
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp almond flour
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves

* Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C
* Melt the butter and chocolate together over a bain marie or in the microwave for 60 seconds whilst stirring every 10 - 15 seconds.
* Add the sugar, whisk well till sugar melts. Let the mixture cool down a bit. (Have a sip of cold water, or just detox your own way).
* Add the eggs one by one, whisking every time you add one egg. I prefer to whisk with a hand beater and not the electronic ones as over beating is not meant for this cake.
* Once all the eggs are done, add the almond flour and basil leaves and mix well. The mixture will become very thick, that's normal.
* Pour this batter into individual cupcake tins or a large cake tin. For individual cupcakes - bake for 15 minutes @ 180°C or 350°F. For the larger cake, bake for 20-25 minutes. Let the cake cool off in the oven for another 10 minutes, after which keep them to cool on a wire rack.
* Please note this is a sticky cake, this is due to lack of flour, so they are dense and moist, but trust me they are superbly yummisimme.

Bonne Dégustation!

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