Thursday 22 October 2009
[Concorde, an all-chocolate entremet - A one-way ticket to London]
Strangely enough, the past couple of days have – unlike the thousands that came before – felt soothing.
Almost like a slow motion picture.
In fact, this has sort of become a common fact. Every day spent in Entrevaux – a small village surrounded by mountains, and where wearing a Peruvian hat makes it to the local news (well, gossips) for at least a fortnight – seems to last forever.
Definitely a good thing in my book. Especially since Guillaume and I booked our plane tickets to a new life.
On the 7th of November, we’ll be landing in London, scouting for the cutest little flat, and more importantly to the sweetest little jobs as pastry cooks. Any hints are more than welcome!
A one-way ticket. And a promise of busy days ahead. Come what may.
Somehow, the Concorde seemed fit for the occasion. Even though I suspect its name comes from the Parisian place de la Concorde, I can’t help but remember that express Paris to NYC flight.
New and exiting. Just how I feel right now.
Adapted from Pierre Hermé.
This entremet might be: 1. from Pierre Hermé, and 2. pretty delicious, it’s nonetheless very easy to make. Picture a simple chocolate mousse sandwiched between crisp yet soft (due to the freezing) chocolate meringue disks.
For both components, the tricky part is getting the meringue right. In the case of the chocolate meringue fingers, it should be very firm, although not grainy (egg whites should never ever get grainy). As for the mousse, I’d go for softer whipped egg whites.
Then comes the montage [assembling], which requires special care so you have a smooth entremet, reading for glazing. The secret lies in gently pressing down the disks of meringue into the mousse before piping some more mousse, just so that the mousse coats the edges of the disks and don’t form any air bubbles.
for the meringue
100g cocoa powder
200g icing sugar
4 egg whites, at room temperature
50g caster sugar
for the chocolate mousse
250g dark chocolate, chopped
250g unsalted butter, diced
6 egg whites, at room temperature
30g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
for the glaçage mirroir
150g caster sugar
150g glucose syrup
100g sweet condensed milk
70g masse gelatine (soak 10g gelatine leaves into cold water then weight the soaked gelatine leaves and make up to 70g with the soaking water)
150g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 120°C.
Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar together into a bowl, and set aside.
Whip the egg whites until foamy, then still whipping, add the caster sugar a little at a time, until the meringue forms firm peaks.
Gently fold in the cocoa/icing sugar mixture. Using a 10mm wide plain nozzle, pipe the chocolate meringue into three 18cm wide circles, and use the remaining batter to pipe long stripes.
Bake for an hour, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool down.
Now onto the mousse. Get a 22cm wide cercle ready by lining it with rhodoid. Place it on a baking paper-lined small baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain-marie.
Whip the egg whites with the sugar until they hold stiff peaks, then quickly – but delicately – incorporate the yolks.
Using a rubber spatula fold in the melted chocolate/butter.
Place one meringue disk at the bottom of the prepared cercle, then pipe one third of the mousse. Place another disk on top, pushing slightly so the mousse comes well around the edges. Pipe some more mousse, top with the last disk of meringue, then pipe the remaining mousse, and using a long spatula, flatten the surface of the entremet.
Freeze the entremet for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours. Unmould the entremet and place on a wire rack. Return to freezer until the glaze is ready.
Put the water, sugar and glucose syrup into a pan and bring to the boil. When the syrup reaches 103°C, turn off the heat and mix in the condensed milk and masse gelatine. Pour over the milk chocolate and mix with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Coat the entremet with this miroir glaze three times (if the miroir becomes too sticky, reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds). Freeze for 10 minutes, then trim the ends with a hot and sharp knife, and place back in the freezer for an hour.
Put the entremet into the fridge six hours before you’re ready to serve.