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Chocolate variations




I took inspiration from the Vanilla Chocolate Cloud by Frank Haasnoot and realized this beauty! 😍

What appeals to me about this dish is its minimal requirement for equipment and the absence of the need to purchase molds. Additionally, you have the flexibility to incorporate extra flavors according to your preference. For instance, I included candied Yuzu for a unique twist, but black cherries would also complement the dish exceptionally well.


Required recipes



Equipment


  • Round nozzle. Here I'm using ⌀ 14 mm


Suggested schedule

 

Day 1


Hazelnut crumble (optional)


This preparation enhances the dish by providing an additional crunch. Although the chocolate meringue becomes initially crunchy after baking, it transforms into a softer, chewier texture once the chocolate cream is piped onto it. This anticipated effect harmonizes the various components of the dish, but it might still leaves the desire of an extra crunchy element.


100g Unsalted butter

70g Wheat flour

100g Hazelnuts or hazelnut flour

100g Sugar

40g Melted white chocolate

Pinch of salt


  1. Blend the hazelnuts together with the sugar and the flour and turn everything into a fine powder.

  2. Add the butter, the flaky salt and the melted white chocolate.

  3. Keep blending for another minute till you get a firm dough.

  4. Transfer it on a tray that’s lined with a silicon sheet (not a perforated one) or parchment paper and spread it evenly on it.

  5. Bake at 160°C for around 25 minutes, till golden brown, taking care of whisking every 5 minutes to create an even crumble.


Custard cream


250g Whole milk

65g Sugar

2 Egg yolks (~62g)

20g Corn starch

1 Vanilla pod


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg yolk until the sugar melts. This is extremely important. What might happen otherwise is that sugar can burn the egg yolk later on when incorporating milk.

  2. Add the corn starch and keep whisking. In the meanwhile heat the milk with the vanilla seeds on a medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not let it boil.

  3. Slowly pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.

  4. Once the milk is fully incorporated, pour the mixture back to the stove over medium heat.

  5. Whisk, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency. This usually takes about 2-4 minutes.

  6. Remove from the heat and pour the cream into a cold bowl. Keep whisking to lower the temperature.

  7. Cover the surface of the custard cream with kitchen film to prevent a skin from forming. Then keep in the fridge.


Chocolate ganache


125g Heavy cream

160g Dark chocolate 70%


  1. Heat the heavy cream on a low heat until just simmering. Be careful here. If the heavy cream gets too hot and starts boiling, it might not combine well with the chocolate and potentially even burn it.

  2. Once the heavy cream starts simmering, turn off the heat and pour immediately over the chocolate.

  3. Stir slowly until smooth and glossy.


Vanilla Chantilly


200g Heavy cream

20g sugar

40g mascarpone

1g gelatine leaves (platinum)

1 Vanilla pod


  1. Rehydrate the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 minutes.

  2. Heat 50g of the heavy cream with vanilla seeds and sugar till simmer.

  3. Pour over the mascarpone and rehydrated gelatine.

  4. Blend with a hand blender for a few seconds and sieve the mixture.


 

Day 2


Chocolate meringue


100g Egg white

100g Granulated sugar

100g Icing sugar

25g Cocoa powder


  1. Heat the egg white and granulated sugar in water bath and stir until it reaches 55°C

  2. Whip till mixture reaches medium peaks and it's still slightly warm. It's recommended to use a stand mixer.

  3. Add the icing sugar and the cocoa powder and mix with a spatula until fully incorporated.

  4. Pipe on a baking tray lined with silicone mat (I recommend a perforated one) to create shapes made with multiple circles with different sizes connected together. Place another silicone mat (still the perforated one is recommended here) on top and press gently to get a flat surface at the end of the cooking time.

  5. Bake at 80°C for ~4 hours.


Chocolate custard cream


Use the custard cream and chocolate ganache prepared in the previous steps


  1. Whisk the custard cream to get a smooth texture.

  2. Combine with the chocolate ganache and whisk until fully incorporated.

  3. Keep the cream in a piping bag with round nozzle ⌀ 14 mm.


 

Day 3


Assembly


It's possible to assemble the dish even on Day 2, depending on the availability of the meringue (you can prepare it overnight on Day 1 or in the morning on Day 2 to assemble the dessert in the afternoon).


  1. Whip the chantilly till medium peaks and put it in a piping bag with a round nozzle ⌀ 14 mm or less.

  2. Place the cocoa meringue on bottom (you can use some chocolate custard cream as a "glue" to keep it still on the plate) and surround it with some crumble (as already mentioned this is optional).

  3. Add some discs of marquise on top of some of the meringue circles (still use the chocolate custard cream to keep the discs still in their position).

  4. Pipe the chocolate custard cream on top of the marquise discs and the cocoa meringue.

  5. Pipe the vanilla Chantilly to cover different spots.

  6. At this point you can decorate at your taste. In my case I used candied Yuzu and roasted cocoa nibs.



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