Magic Bullet for World Cup Hangover: Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

“Ummmm”. Well, this is the kind of instant response I am usually seeking from mon chéri when I want to cheer him up.Still under the world cup hangover he unfortunately injured his ankle in a game of football and needs about 2-3 weeks of bed rest to recuperate. No golden boot here… 😦

With this sinful combination of orange and chocolate I’ve hit the nail on the head! I went about creating this dessert as I wanted to try out two recipes, one for an orange sponge cake by Julia Child and the other, a chocolate mousse by Christophe Felder. When you are trying to re-create recipes of two outstanding individuals of the culinary world, you can’t go wrong at all! Julia Child, one of the chefs whom I admire most for her determination and courage who brought about a revolution in the culinary world. Apart from the movies, the book “My Life in France” gives a humurous and lively representation of Julia’s culinary adventure. Christophe Felder, is not only an amazing pâtissier but is also considered as the creator of plated desserts by some critics!

No points for guessing that the combination of both the recipes turned out to be utterly delicious and fulfilling.
I have tried to create a plated dessert here since this is one of the skills I am trying to enhance and find my own style. 🙂

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Ingredients :

Orange Sponge Cake : 9-inch cake serves 4-5 portions (I made half this recipe)

120 g sugar
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1Orange/ orange blossom water 1/2 tsp
72 ml orange juice
Salt, pinch
100 g all purpose flour
4 egg whites
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
1 tbsp caster sugar

Candied orange peel:

1 orange
50 g sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (optional)
2 Tsp Vanilla sugar

Chocolate Mousse: Serves 12 (I made 2 portions)

100 g heavy cream
250 g chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
6 egg whites
40 g sugar
2 egg yolks

Orange Mint Curd:

1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml orange juice
8 medium mint leaves

To decorate:

Pistachios, crushed, optional
Blanched almond flakes, optional
Icing sugar, optional
Ground Cinnamon, optional

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Instructions :

Orange Sponge Cake:
Butter and flour the cake tin. Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Beat the sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy to form a ribbon.
Add the orange zest, orange juice and salt and beat until foamy.

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until it forms stiff peaks.

Pout one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and fold. Fold in the rest.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cool before serving.

Candied Orange Peels:

Bring a saucepan with water to a boil.Peel the orange into wide strips. Cut into strips.
Add to the boiling water, cook for a minute and drain. This will help to remove bitterness.

Now, combine the sugar and water and boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the orange peel and boil for 2 minutes. Add the honey and stir.
Let the mixture Rest for 15 minutes.
Drain the peel. Transfer to a wire rack and let dry for an hour.

Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Add the orange peel to the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.keep aside.

Chocolate Mousse:

Finely chop the chocolate.
Bring the cream to boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it melt slightly. Whisk to make a smooth, shiny ganache.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whip until they form soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until they hold a firm peak.Do not overbeat.

Whisk the egg yolks into the ganache.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Gently fold with a spatula. The mousse should be smooth.
Chill for an hour before serving .

Orange Mint Curd:

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the orange juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the mint leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.
Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.
Chill completely, at least 30-45 minutes.

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Assembling the cake:

Spoon a little orange curd on the plate.
Cut a piece of cake and place over the curd. Spoon some mousse over/beside the cake.
Dust the cake with icing sugar, cinnamon and top with almond flakes.
Sprinkle the pistachio and top with the candied citrus peel. Viola!

Plating A

Plating A

Plating B

Plating B

Was Plating B a Hit or a Miss? I would love to know which Plating appealed to you more?

Bon Apetit!

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Celebrate International Chocolate Day with Chocolate Raspberry Garland

I cannot imagine what life would have been without chocolates! The decadent, rich chocolate as we know it today has a humble past, being used as fermented alcoholic beverage cultivated during the Mesoamerican civilization about 3000 years ago. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were a Gift of God and used them as a form of currency. It was only in the 16th century after the Spanish conquered the Aztecs, it was served as a court beverage for the first time in Europe and spread across the continent, available only to the elite. It took another two centuries for cocoa powder to be invented and the humble cacao been has since been transformed and used in a lot of different ways!

An Aztec woman generates foam by pouring chocolate from one vessel to another. Pic Courtesy: Wikipedia

An Aztec woman generates foam by pouring chocolate from one vessel to another. Pic Courtesy: Wikipedia

Everyday is chocolate day and we need no special day to celebrate this gift of god. However, we can always use an excuse to gorge on chocolate, it being International Chocolate Day today, i’ve tried to use chocolate in its pure form without messing around too much!

Chocolate Raspberry Garland

Chocolate Raspberry Garland

Chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven and a great way to start the week.. 😉

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Makes 6 serves
Ingredients :
Chocolate Cupcake :
1/2 banana, chopped
50 g chocolate (60% cocoa)
55 g butter
2 eggs
75 g sugar
30 g all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Chantilly Cream :
100 ml whipping cream, chilled
10 g icing sugar, sifted
vanilla extract, 1/2 tspn

Raspberry Coulis :
100 g frozen raspberries/ strawberries
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Chocolate Sauce :
200 g chocolate (60 % cocoa)

For Plating :
Raspberries

Instructions :

Chocolate Cupcakes :

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a muffin pan and dust with cocoa powder.

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Lightly whisk in the melted butter and chocolate.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the batter and beat until combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling them one-third. Insert chopped banana pieces. Spoon in more batter until two-thirds full.

Bake for about 12 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry coulis :

Bring all ingredients to the boil and simmer until soft. Blend until smooth and strain through a fine sieve and chill until required.

Chantilly Cream :
Keep the bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes. Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla essence until soft peaks form.

Chocolate Sauce :
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
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Plating :
Smear coulis across the plate.
Dip the base of the cooled cupcake into melted chocolate. Place chocolate side up over the coulis.
Pipe three rounds of Chantilly cream on one side.
Line raspberries in a circle on the edge of the plate and drizzle the melted chocolate over the raspberries.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!