Tag Archives: valrhona

Manjari Mousse, Raspberry Jelly, Mascarpone Cream


Manjari Valrhona mousse, Raspberry Jelly, marcarpone cream

Inspired by a recent Valrhona workshop with Valrhona Pacific and Sabato, I set off to create a mousse dessert with all my favourites. Here I used Valrhona Manjari, a single origin dark chocolate made from rare cocoa beans from Madagascar. This has a fresh, acidic, sharp bouquet with red fruit notes and pairs perfectly with a Raspberry Jelly made with Fresh As freeze dried raspberry powder.

These were offset with a whipped mascarpone cream, tempered chocolate discs and Valrhona Chocolate pearls.

As this mousse doesn’t have any raw eggs, it’s quite suitable for children and anyone who doesn’t like uncooked eggs.

Smooth chocolate mousse with a deep rich flavour, cut through with a tart raspberry jelly, this is a delicious and sophisticated summer dessert.

Manjari Valrhona mousse, Raspberry Jelly, marcarpone cream

Ingredients

Manjari chocolate mousse

  • 250g dark chocolate, Valrhona Manjari
  • 150g mini marshmallows
  • 60g butter
  • 60ml hot water
  • 330ml fresh cream

Fresh As Jellies

  • 35g Fresh As Raspberry Powder
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 4 leaves gelatine (silver grade), soaked in ice cold water

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 250g cream
  • 30g sugar
  • 5g (1/2 tsp) vanilla bean paste

Method

Manjari chocolate mousse

  1. Put the chocolate, mini marshmallows, butter and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan over gentle heat to melt the contents, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the pan (the chocolate can stick very quickly). Remove from the heat to cool. You can put the pan in a larger vessel containing cold water to speed up the cooling process.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the cream until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour into 12 small glasses or ramekins, and chill until set (takes only about 20 minutes for it to set).

Fresh As Jellies

  1. Place water into a pot and add the sugar and Fresh As freeze dried Raspberry powder in, whisking to dissolve completely.
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
  3. Remove from the heat and add drained gelatine leaves.
  4. Pour into moulds and refrigerate for 3 hours till set.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the mascarpone, cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste to medium-stiff peaks, 3 minutes at the most. Fit a large French star tip to a piping bag, and transfer mascarpone whipped cream to it.

Assembly

Pipe a dollop of whipped mascarpone cream on top of set chocolate mousse. Add a tempered chocolate disc, a jelly disc and scatter over several Valrhona chocolate pearls.

Manjari Valrhona mousse, Raspberry Jelly, marcarpone cream

Chocolate brownie crinkle cookies with powdered sugar and olive oil


chocolate brownie crinkle cookie with powdered sugar and olive oil

chocolate brownie crinkle cookie with powdered sugar and olive oil

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle cookie with powdered sugar

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle cookie with powdered sugar

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle cookie with powdered sugar

These reminds me of the view from 35,000 feet high, flying from Auckland to Christchurch for work. It was in the middle of winter and the Southern Alps was thickly covered by a blanket of snow – it was such a serene and beautiful scene.

J requested these cookies after sampling a version of them at a birthday party many years ago: “the icing sugar dusted chocolate cookies” was mentioned every now and then. Last weekend I finally got around to it.

They are brownie-like: soft and tender inside, but have a cookie-like crisp exterior. I have been blessed with a delivery of olive oils from Te Wheke Olives and they worked so well in this recipe. As the batter is very soft, it requires a minimum of 4 hours fridge time. You can speed that up by placing it in the freezer for 2 hours. Before you bring the batter out, have a few cookie sheets lined and the oven preheated, so that once you have two trays of 12 cookies each rolled in icing sugar, you can bake the first two trays straight away. This ensures they don’t loose too much height. I managed to complete rolling out dough for two more trays while the first batch is baking (I do have 6 identical cookie sheets – they were imperative for the large batches of macarons I make!)

The other option is to skip the icing sugar step, this creates brownie cookies with beautifully random cracks.

If you would like to make these gluten free, as I did for colleagues, just substitute the plain wheat flour with gluten free flour. The Countdown branded gluten free flour packs had corn and maize as the main ingredients. Be sure to check that your baking powder and icing sugar are free of gluten as well. They turn out a tad softer than the ones made with wheat flour, and my tasters actually prefer these!

Ingredients (50-60 cookies)

  • 125ml olive oil
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 95g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs (size 7, about 60g each)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 250g plain flour (or gluten free flour, with corn and maize)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80g icing sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil, caster sugar and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Paddle on a slow speed until homogenous. Add in eggs one at a time, making sure each has been incorporated before adding the next. Add in the vanilla paste.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt then add into the cocoa mixture. This will look just like a brownie batter, thick and runny. Chill batter for at least 5 hours, best over night.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with baking paper. Using two teaspoons, drop small scoops of thick mousse-like batter into a bowl of icing sugar. Roll the balls until they are covered with powdered/icing sugar.
  4. Place on lined baking trays.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

chocolate brownie crinkle cookie with powdered sugar and olive oil

Espresso Mascarpone Chocolate Cake


Espresso chocolate cake with Caramélia coffee glaze

So pleased to be introducing this delightful cake: Espresso Mascarpone Chocolate Cake, drizzled with a Caramélia chocolate glaze with Cacao nibs.

Made with Nespresso Envivo Lungo extractions, this is the next cake you are going to fall in love with. Coffee and chocolate is always a perfect match and I’ve been changing up my cake flavours by switching to different Nespresso coffee variations. Each came out with a different flavour profile and I think each had a different personality too (!)

Mascarpone cheese makes this cake moist throughout. I love making cakes using buttermilk, sour cream or mascarpone cheese, it adds a tang to it and balances out all the sweetness. Mascarpone cheese results in a more uniform and smooth texture, whereas sour cream and buttermilk gives a crumbly light result.

The glaze, oh can I tell you about this star-of-the-show glaze! Valrhona Caramélia chocolate simply melted down with warm cream and poured all over. We lovvvved the outpouring of chocolate when we broke the chocolate dam. That added drama and was so much fun.

Oh and if this ever happens, the cake remains moist even after 1 week!! (but chances are you would have devoured it way before.)

Ingredients
Espresso Chocolate cake

  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3g (1 tsp) Heilala vanilla baking extract
  • 2 large eggs (size 7)
  • 110g almond meal
  • 200g plain flour
  • 80g cocoa powder (Valrhona)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2g (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 160g mascarpone cream cheese (Tatua Dairy)
  • 190ml hot coffee (2x Nespresso Envivo Lungo extractions, you will have 10ml left over)

Espresso Caramelia Milk Chocolate Glaze

  • 135g Valrhona Caramélia milk chocolate
  • 135ml cream (at least 36% fat)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C (fan forced) and lightly grease a bundt pan, careful to go into all the crevices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the sugar and butter, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few seconds to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each has been fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and then add a third of it to the sugar/butter/eggs mixture. Add in half of the mascarpone cream. Add a third of the dry ingredients, then the second half of the mascarpone cream. Finally add the last third of the dry ingredients (The batter is thickish at this point).
  4. Mix in the hot coffee, until you have a smooth batter. Transfer the batter into the prepared bundt pan, smoothing out the top. Lightly tap the pan on a flat surface to ensure the batter has filled all the crevices.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until a long toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before upending it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the glaze heat the cream in a pan and place the chocolate and coffee in a small pot with a pouring spout. When the cream begins to shimmer and before it boils (don’t let it boil as evaporation will reduce the liquid volume) pour it over the chocolate and coffee. Wait a few minutes before stirring, until the glaze becomes homogenous and is smooth and silky. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake, have some fun doing this! Slice and enjoy!

Espresso chocolate cake with Caramélia coffee glaze

Espresso chocolate cake with Caramélia coffee glaze

Chocolate mousse dome entremet with Valrhona and Ponthier fruit puree


My ultimate favourite chocolate is Valrhona. Recently I had a mini sampling of the range at Sabato. I thought I would be persuaded to fall for a different type (hello Azelia – hazelnut) and Itakuja (passionfruit)) and was surprised to find myself steadfast in loving Manjari. The fruity notes first captured my love for Valrhona and it’s still my favourite.

I paired the Manjari with Caramelia (think caramel and salted butter), added blackberry and raspberry fruit puree to make a mousse.

I have already made this 3 times in as many weeks!

In order to facilitate the stream-lined construct of the domes, several of the elements had to be made in advance. The beauty of this is that I can break up the prep work over the weekend or nights, only spending a little time for each step. You can do this in one go, but this is how I managed the prep:

  • Chocolate brownie – baked in a square pan, cut rounds out of the pan (making sure that the diameter of the rounds is less than that of the silicone mold), and horizontal cuts were made to get thinner discs.
  • Fruit jelly – puree and gelatin were used to make these. They are freezeable.
  • Mousse – the last of the element and the day you make the mousse is the day you need to have enough space in the freezer for them to chill.
  • Mirror glaze – the drips can be saved if you prewrapped the catch tray with plastic wrap. You can safely reuse this for 1-2 weeks, keeping in the fridge.

Makes 6 domes with extra mousse for about 4 smaller flat shapes.

There will be enough brownies, jelly and glaze for another round of mousse domes at least. For the second batch, I only needed to make up more mousse as the other elements were already complete! How easy is that 🙂

I’ve written the recipe below with the instructions immediately following the ingredients. This was easiest for me while making them as I did the elements separately.

Ingredients and instructions:

Brownie:

My chewy chocolate brownie. Usually entremets have a sponge dacquoise layer. Since I was making brownies, I thought maybe I should try it with my chocolate brownie? It gives a deep caramel flavour and chewey texture to the dessert. I had really good comments about this from my tasters 😉

Fruit jelly:

  • 125ml fruit puree
  • 1.5 sheets of gold strength gelatin

Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for at least 5 mins. Heat the fruit puree till it begins to boil. Squeeze water from gelatin sheets and add to puree. Stir to melt and pour into silicone moulds. Place in freezer to harden. Try different moulds for different presentation.

Here I’ve used a mini half sphere dome as an insert for the sphere dome shapes and also a spiral as the topping for the flatter round shapes like below.

Mousse:

  • 110g Caramelia (milk)
  • 40g Manjari (dark)
  • 40g Ponthier Blackberry puree
  • 40g Ponthier Raspberry puree
  • 170g whipped cream

Chop chocolate to small pieces. Bring puree up to a boil and pour over chocolates. Leave for a minute before mixing until smooth and shiny. You may have to heat this bowl over a water bath to melt it all.

Whip cream to soft peak, and add half of it to the chocolate. Mix well, and add the rest of cream.

Here comes the fun part. For the silikomart domes, choose shapes that don’t have sharp edges. Pipe mousse into the silicone mould, filling halfway. Push a jelly dome in, which will squish some of the mousse to the rim. Fill with a bit more mousse and add a brownie disc on top. Freeze over night. Big tip: Only remove from freezer and unmould when your glaze is ready to be poured.

Mirror glaze:

  • 23g glucose
  • 53ml cream
  • 62ml water
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 26g dutch cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
  • 2 gold gelatin sheets

Presoak gelatin sheets in cold water. Cook glucose, cream, water and sugar to 103 degrees C. Add in cocoa powder and mix well. Squeeze water from gelatin sheets and add to the glaze mixture. Use a stick blend to blend the glaze till smooth. Place a piece of cling wrap directly on the surface of the glaze (touching it to reduce contact with the air), store for use later. Reheat to around body temperature (37 degrees C) and pour over mousse domes that has just been taken out of the freezer and unmoulded.

Can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Reheating will darken the glaze. It’s so shiny you can even see my reflection if you zoom in!

Overtime, you’ll find yourself pouring more confidently. The operative word is confident. Pour from the centre and then outwards, and aim to cover it quickly. If you want to see this in action, go to my Instagram stories and look for the Sweet Recipe highlights. Give this a go and let me know if you like it or any flavour combos 🙂 Try different shapes too and don’t forget to decorate with Fresh As freeze dried raspberries and a bit of gold 😉

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle Cookies


I turned one of my earlier Brownie recipes into a cookie! To be honest, these were inspired by the many versions of the same on Instagram lately, and for fear of missing out, I followed suit. Henceforth known as #fomocookies.

These are quick to make too!

Makes 20 – 22 cookies

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate (70% best chocolate, I used Valrhona), chopped
  • 160g unsalted butter, cubed (I use Westgold)
  • 145g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground instant coffee powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (about 55g each)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt flakes, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Place the dark chocolate and butter into a medium sized heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
  2. Heat on a medium-low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, coffee powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the brown sugar, caster sugar and eggs on medium speed, until thick, doubled in volume, and light caramel in color (about 4 minutes). Add in the melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate. Continue to whisk until well incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Set the mixer speed to medium and add in the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then, add in the water. Continue to whisk until homogenise. The dough should be fluid, and form a thick flowing trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set it in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour. (Not any longer or it will be too hard to scoop.)
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius. Line three large baking trays with baking paper.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough evenly onto the prepared cookie sheets. The dough should be soft but will hold its shape when being scooped. If not, leave in the fridge for a further 15 minutes. Place 6-8 scoops on each cookie sheet with plenty of room to spread. Drop the sheets against the kitchen bench to slightly flatten the cookies. Sprinkle over a little of the flaked sea salt.
  8. Bake the cookies for a total of 11 minutes. To make crinkles (method is according to Sarah Kieffer), you’ll have to do the following steps:
  • Set a timer for 11 minutes of baking. Place sheets in.
  • After 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet half-way around. Lift and drop the sheet against the oven rack to deflate the cookies. A small circle of crinkles should be visible on the outer edge of the cookies. Close the oven door and allow the cookies to rise again.
  • 2 minutes later, again lift and drop the tray against the oven rack to deflate and further crinkle the cookies. They will be very visible (I was so excited when I saw these!) Bake for another 2 minutes.
  • Repeat one more time of lift and drop, and bake one last 2 minutes.
  • The cookies should be flat with plenty of crinkles. They should be just firm around the edges and set in the middle.

Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on their trays for 10 minutes, then to a wire rack to cool further.