If you want to make a dessert to impress, search no further. This one looks impossibly cute, it mixes different textures, and it comes in single portion size, which always makes a dessert more special. Made just for you! The recipe comes from a cookbook that you absolutely must have: Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea. I fell in love with it without having any idea who Mr. Lanlard was, and it turns out he is quite the celebrity chef, having done several cooking shows on TV and written a fair number of cookbooks. Born in Bretagne, he’s been living in the UK since age 22, now the owner of a wonderful place in London called Cake Boy. Maybe one day I will be able to visit and enjoy one of his beautiful concoctions. With a perfect cup of tea, of course… But without further ado, here is my version of his adorable dome-shaped dessert.
WHITE CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY DOME
(reprinted with permission from Eric Lanlard)
100g (3½oz) white chocolate, roughly chopped
10g (¼oz) golden caster sugar (or regular sugar)
1 egg yolk
10g (¼oz) cornstarch
50ml (2fl oz) milk
1 gelatine leaf (about 2.5 g)
250ml (9fl oz) whipping cream
6 thin Palets Breton (recipe follows)
8 tbsp apricot jam
pink food coloring
tempered white chocolate for decoration
Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Leave to cool slightly. In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolk until pale and fluffy, then fold in the cornstarch.
Heat the milk in a saucepan, then pour over the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes, stirring continuously, until it has thickened. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in cold water until softened. Stir the custard into the melted white chocolate. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add to the warm chocolate mixture, then stir together until the gelatin has melted. Leave to cool.
Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold into the cooled custard. Divide the mousse among 6 individual dome silicone molds, filling them half full. Arrange 5 raspberries over the mousse in each mold, then spoon over the remaining mousse. Place the molds in the freezer for at least 4 hours until set solid.
Melt the apricot jam in a small saucepan, then pass through a sieve until smooth. Return the glaze to the pan and stir in the food dye. Turn each mould out on to a cooling rack. Pour the glaze over the frozen domes to cover – the glaze should set within 30 seconds. Using a palette knife carefully lift each on to a Palet Breton biscuit. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
(slightly modified from Eric Lanlard’s recipe)
2 egg yolks
85g (3oz) golden caster sugar (or regular sugar)
85g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
140g (5oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
2 generous pinches of Guérande salt
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the butter. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, then add to the mixture and combine together to form a smooth dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and shape as a flat disk. Cover with plastic film and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
Roll the dough about 3/8 inch thick and bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. While still warm from the oven, cut disks the same size as your dome mold for the mousse. Leave to cool completely before assembling the dessert.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I am really over the moon with this dessert. It is deceptively simple to prepare, but having made it twice, I can tell you that small details matter. If you look at the bottom right picture in the composite above, you’ll see that the raspberries are visible underneath the glaze. That happened because the berries were a little too big (hey, Kansas is not that far from Texas) and when I placed them inside the mold and filled it with mousse, some were pushed all the way to the edge. It is evident on the upper right photo. Ideally, the fruit should be totally surrounded by the white chocolate mousse. It is a small detail, but in such a lovely dessert, it is one to pay attention to next time. See? There I am again using the “next time” line. That is also the reason why I added the drizzle of white chocolate, to make the boo-boo less evident. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to try my hands at tempering white chocolate. It was quite a thrill, but one with a happy ending.
I used the seeding method, in which I melted very slowly 3/4 of diced white chocolate (to 105 F), then brought the temperature down to 80 F adding the remaining 1/4 diced bits with constant agitation (talking not only chocolate but my inner self). After that, I increased the temperature super gently with a hairdryer just to be able to drizzle and pipe the design over silpat, not allowing it to go over 85 F.
The cookie base can be whatever cookie you like. The most important thing is that the dimension match that of the domed mousse. Since some cookies shrink or change shape during baking, I decided to roll the dough out, bake it and then cut the cookies exactly the size I needed. Worked pretty well. Sablès are sturdy but have that melt in your mouth feel of a shortbread. I had some cookies leftover, and they received a drizzle of tempered white chocolate. They turned out very good, simple and delicious. The small amount of salt in the Palets Breton’s dough is a must. Normally these cookies are pretty thick (google and you’ll see what I’m talking about), but of course to serve as a base for the dessert, it is best to bake thinner versions, they will be more delicate.
One more thing: avoid using apricot jam like Bonne Maman. Oddly enough, that delicious version does not have as much pectin as more mundane brands do, and it’s hard to get good coverage of the mousse. On my first attempt, I ended up resorting to a chocolate glaze. It was also very good, but I think I prefer the taste and color impact of the pink-red glaze.
For those interested, this is the dome mold I used.
And now, allow me to offer you a small overview of my favorite cookbook of the moment…
Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea
The book starts with a nice introduction about paring tea with food, something most people don’t bother thinking about. But, truth is, tea covers many complex flavors and will complement, enhance, or sometimes fight with the food you serve it with. One of the interesting combinations he suggests is a Lapsang Souchong tea with anything chocolate. Lapsang Souchong is a smoked tea with quite unique flavor (and smell). I’ve seen pastry chefs making chocolate mousses infused with it, but have not tried it yet. That too, shall happen in the Bewitching Kitchen. But, back to the book. The chapters are divided into sections that cover particular types of goodies. I will list the recipes that made my heart miss a beat or three from each chapter. And by the way, let me tell you the photos are spectacular (you can tell by the cover of the book).
Macarons and Choux. How could I not fall in love with a book that opens with Macarons??? I want to make pretty much every one of the 10 recipes in the chapter, but just to share the favorites: Lemon and Pepper Macarons with Smoked Salmon, Hazelnut Macarons with Pumpkin Puree, Blue Cheese Gougères, and Mini-Salmon Mousse and Nigella Seed Paris-Brest.
Savory Tarts. Pear, Roquefort and Walnut Tartlets, Tartes Flambées, Camembert and Apple Tarts with Walnut Drizzle, Spinach and Pine Nut Wholemeal Tartlets.
Sandwiches and Scones. Very creative chapter, let me tell you… Combinations of flavors that seem quite unusual but not over the top. Vanilla-Cured Salmon on Beetroot Caraway Bread, Paprika Chicken Ciabatta, Pistachio and Rose Scones (swoon!), Raw Cacao and Raspberry Scones.
Cakes and Sweet Tarts. Pistachio and Rose Financiers (gosh, I must make these), Strawberry Ombré Cake (from the cover of the book, gorgeous cake), Chocolate and Ginger Tart (a thing of beauty), Linzer Torte.
Patisserie. My favorite chapter, that includes the some recipes I made from the book. Red Velvet Cheesecake, White Chocolate and Raspberry Domes, Lemon Posset, Saffron Crême Pâtissière, Mango, and Mint Cups, Raspberry Choux Craquelin Buns.
Biscuits. I cannot pick favorites. I want to make them all, so here they are: Viennese Butter Biscuits, Palets Breton, Cardamom Biscuits, Soft Ginger Biscuits, Honey and Lemon Biscuits, Lavender Shortbread Hearts, Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti, Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies, Coconut Macarons Rocher, Gluten-free Tahini Cookies, and Cinnamon Palmiers. Are you in love yet?
Finally, a teaser for you… this is his Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake. I took it to our department and people went crazy for it. It is decadently delicious.
Mr. Lanlard, thank you for allowing me to publish your recipe, and thanks for the advice on the raspberry dome. I look forward to baking a lot more from your gorgeous cookbook.
ONE YEAR AGO: Blueberry Crumble Coffee Cake
TWO YEARS AGO: Pickled Red Onions
THREE YEARS AGO: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake
FOUR YEARS AGO: Mini-Chocolate Cheesecake Bites
FIVE YEARS AGO: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Grated Tomato Sauce
SIX YEARS AGO: A Taste of Yellow to Honor Barbara
SEVEN YEARS AGO: Gratin of Beefsteak Tomatoes
EIGHT YEARS AGO: Tour de France Final Stage: PARIS
NINE YEARS AGO: Snickerdoodles with a Twist