Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chocolate Fondant with Coffee Cream and Chocolate Dentelles

I think this was the most complicated dessert I have ever made in my life.  Certainly the most steps ever.  And despite reading the instructions twenty times, and despite something still going disastrously wrong at a vital point, this came together nicely.  The best part: I got to use a BLOWTORCH!  To cook!  (maybe the fire extinguisher as a valentine's day gift wasn't so unwarranted)

Step 1: cookies.  Mix the below

Cut out discs, freeze them.  A nice start.

Step 2: Chocolate Fondant

See all of the ingredients?  Pretty much each one had to be cooked separately.  Bleh.

I started by melting some chocolate.

Whipping the hell out of some sugar and an egg white.

Until it turned into a beautiful meringue.  Then I whipped some cream.  Times like this really made me wish that I had a second mixer bowl.

Next, I whipped some butter.  BY HAND.  That is some hardcore stuff.

So I took the chocolate (cooled)...

And added the coffee.... then the whipped butter... and it seized.  Ugh.  This was the thing they warn about, the temp of the coffee and chocolate and not letting it seize up.  I was totally kicking myself, but was determined to make it work (as an aside, I think my chocolate was maybe too warm and it melted the butter and just was bad).

But Brandon came to the rescue - he basically whipped the mixture as HARD as he could for like 5 minutes, and it smoothed out.  Probably not to where it should have been, but it had to work (since I didn't have time to go out and buy more chocolate... a problem I will never again suffer since I have two grocery stores within 3 blocks, and a Whole Foods AND a Bristol Farms within 5 miles).

After working the chocolate out, I folded in the meringue and whipped cream...

Then spooned it into my (too tall) molds.

Step 3: ganache

Mmmm..... very few things beat chocolate and cream!

Melted and mixed into a delicious creamy mix.

But... remember the too-tall molds?  Spooning and smoothing out ganache over the too-tall molds was a  serious pain.

Step five thousand and ten:

Chocolate dentelles

I had no idea what these were when I read about them, but after making them, I realized that these were the same kind of cookies that my mom LOVED when I was a kid from this local bakery.  They were half dipped in chocolate, and half lacey-butty-chocolately, and I thought they were weird (although pretty).  Luckily with growing up, I have realized that - hello! - chocolate is never weird.  Chocolate on rabbit (seen on Top Chef tonight) - yesplease!  Because its CHOCOLATE.

So I basically tossed almonds and cocoa in the food processor.

Cooked the corn syrup and sugar and butter until it came to 220.

Then I stirred in the nut/cocoa mixture.  Pretty, isn't it?

I poured this on some parchment paper, covered it, rolled it, and stuck in the in freezer.

To cook them, I just stuck the entire sheet in the freezer.

Not as easy: cutting rounds.  Mostly because the cutter I had was completely inadequate for the job.  But I got enough pretty rounds to make it.


Coffee cream.  Exciting to most, revolting sounding to me.

Milk, cream, vanilla: heaven.

Eggs and sugar: best supporting actor/actress nominees

I heated the cream, tempered in the eggs, cooked until it was a custard.  Good stuff.

Then I strained it, cooled it, and added a touch of coffee cream (I think 'to taste' means 'as little as possible' when it comes to coffee)

Before the plated picture - the BEST PART: BLOWTORCH!!!!!!  Unfortunately, some people (uh-hum, husband) were a little concerned about me using a blowtorch and a camera at the same time, so no pictures.  But I got to take a blowtorch - a REAL ONE - and run it around the outside of the rings to loosen the fondant.  I was convinced that I was either going to burn myself, or totally jack up the chocolate fondants.  Or set something on fire... again.  Luckily, none of those happened. Go me!

Plated: coffee cream, chocolate fondant, a dentelle.  Isn't this pretty?  (ignoring the strange little chocolate flecks in the fondant from where the mixture seized up)

Sometimes I impress even myself.

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