Raspberry, Milk Chocolate and Pistachio Heart.

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This is my favourite dessert to put on the menu on Valentine’s day. With themed desserts it is important to have indications of the theme without overdoing it. Never sacrifice flavour or texture just to satisfy a theme, if you keep working at it, you’ll be able to find both. Try and stick to one or two nods towards the theme, smothering it with chocolate arrows and rose petals might sound good on paper, but it is only going to make the dish less pleasant to eat.

The highlighted words in this post are affiliate links which will take you to the relevant Amazon, MSK and Nisbits pages where I get that particular product from, making it easier to track down anything you may need.

Raspberry Liquid centre

100g Boiron raspberry puree

10g Sugar

0.5g MSK Agar Agar: See the cheap but reliable micro-scales that I use here

Mix the Agar Agar through the sugar in a small bowl (this will prevent clumps from forming) and warm the puree in a pan.

When the puree is warm to the touch, sprinkle in the Agar and sugar mixture and then bring it up to the boil whisking continuously. Turn down the heat slightly and let it boil gently for at least one minute.

Pass the puree into a suitable container and chill until completely cold.

When cold, the mixture should be set into a hard jelly. Scrape the jelly into a blender (ideally a thermomix) and blend until smooth.

(Optional) Pour the mixture into a high sided tray that fits inside the vacum pack machine and place it inside uncovered. Bring the pressure down as far as possible. The mixture will bubble up, so keep your hand on the stop button just incase you tray is over full and it expands too far. As the pressure is released it will suck out all of the air bubbles from the blending process and leave a more colourful and shiny gel.

Pipe half of the gel into small insert moulds until 3/4 full and place in the freezer to harden.

Mousse 

70g Cream

60g Boiron raspberry puree

30g MSK Invert sugar paste (Trimoline)

60g Egg yolks

160 Milk chocolate 

2g Gold gelatine (One sheet)

260g Very lightly whipped cream

The whipped cream should be soft enough to fall off the whisk and just sit on the suface for a few seconds before leveling out with the rest of the cream in the bowl (If it holds it’s shape it is over whisked and will either split your mousse or make it too thick to pipe)

Soak the gelatine in ice cold water until soft. Squeeze out any excess water and leave to one side.

Boil the puree, cream, and sugar paste and pour over the yolks, return to the pan and cook gently up to 85 degrees celsius on a thermometer. As soon as the mixture reaches temperature, add the gelatine and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Emulsify with a whisk until smooth. This is your mousse base.

lay a small sheet of clingfilm over the surface of the mousse base to stop a skin forming and leave it to cool to between 30-35 degrees celsius. This is the best temperature to give you a mousse that is liquid enough to pipe into moulds and reach all the corners, but cold enough not to knock the air out of your cream.

Fold in your cream gently and then pipe into silicone Heart moulds that have been placed on a tray. Quickly pop your frozen liquid centres out of their moulds and place one inside the centre of each mousse heart, covering any exposed areas with extra mousse and flattening the tops with a swipe of a palette knife so that the insert is sealed in the middle.

that have been placed on a tray. Quickly pop your frozen liquid centres out of their moulds and place one inside the centre of each mousse heart, covering any exposed areas with extra mousse and flattening the tops with a swipe of a palette knife so that the insert is sealed in the middle.

that have been placed on a tray. Quickly pop your frozen liquid centres out of their moulds and place one inside the centre of each mousse heart, covering any exposed areas with extra mousse and flattening the tops with a swipe of a palette knife so that the insert is sealed in the middle.

Place in the freezer to harden fully (at least 3-4 hours)

 


Set Raspberry Cream

350g Boiron raspberry puree

85g Yolks

85g Sugar 

8g Gold gelatine (4 sheets)

85g Cold butter 

Soak the gelatine in ice cold water until soft, squeeze out any excess and leave in a bowl with the butter.

Heat the puree, yolks and sugar to 85 degrees celsius on a kitchen thermometer and remove from the heat, pouring over the gelatine and cold butter. emulsify with a whisk.

pour the mixture into a suitable sized tray and cover the surface with clingfilm. Chill until set.

 


Crispy Raspberry Bases

210g Digestive crumbs

96g Feuilletine

105g White chocolate 

48g Cocoa butter 

10g Frezze dried raspberry chips 

18g Dried cranberries, chopped fine

Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave until liquid and then add the chocolate, stir together and then put the bowl back into the microwave on 10 second bursts for as long as it takes for the chocolate to melt completly. mix well with the rest of the ingredients and place the mix bettween two sheets of paper. Roll to roughly 3mm thick and cut out hearts with a Heart cutter that is roughly double the size of your mousse moulds. Slide onto a tray and into the fridge to set.


Pistachio Microwave Sponge

220g Pistachio paste

180g Egg whites

60g Ground almonds

Blitz all ingredients with a hand blender until smooth.

Place the mixture into a Gas Gun charged with two Canisters and chill for at least a 2-3 hours.

Take the chilled gas gun and pipe a little of the foam halfway up a plastic cup or microwave safe container.

Cook for 30 seconds on full power and then leave to cool (Once cool turn the cups upside down to stop the sponge drying out).


Finishing the mousses

200g Cocoa butter

300g White Chocolate

7g MSK Fat soluble red colouring

Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave and blitz in the colour with a hand blender. Add the chocolate, putting the bowl back into the microwave until all the chocolate is melted.

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into the cup of a Paint sprayer <(there are alot of overpriced sprayers on the market but for me this is by far the best option. It’s also the cheapest that i’ve owned over the years and after two years it is still as good as new).

De-mould the mousses onto a wire rack and spray with an even coat of chocolate mix. If you haven’t practiced spraying before then look out for my video tutorial on spraying and glazing coming soon.

Take the bases from the fridge and arrange them on a tray, using a small palette knife to move the mousses on to the bases while they are still frozen, you can now leave these in the fridge to defrost for 1-2 hours or outside for about 30 minutes ready for service.


Plating

Put the remaining gel in a plastic plating bottle and stick the mousse, that is now defrosted on it’s base to the centre of the plate.

Place a heart cutter that is one size larger than the cutter you used for the base onto the plate to act as a guide as you plate the rest of the garnish around it.

Beat the raspberry cream in a bowl with a spatula or on the mixing machine to loosen it until it is smooth enough to pipe. Place it into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe 6 or 7 dots against the outside edge of the cutter. Rip the sponge into peices and arrange against the cream, following the line of the cutter. Fill in any gaps with the gel and finish with an assortment of viola flower petals (Punnets of viola’s are avaliable from most fruit and vegetable suppliers) and a sprinkle of MSK raspberry chips.

Lift of the cutter and call “service!”

 

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