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Do these domes scream WELCOME TO CANADA?!?!???!
Because (yay) it’s been just over a week since meeting my sister in law, and I’m just excited to get to know her and make her feel at home–it’s not often that we’re welcoming a new family member from Korea!
I knew she didn’t have a sweet tooth at all, but the one dessert she does like is tiramisu. Which surprised me, because I think that’s a pretty strong-flavoured, punchy dessert (which means, there may be a potential sweet tooth in there…….). I mean, it doesn’t shy away from anything– it’s creamy, rich, boozy, sweet. Tiramisu as I know it, at least.
But I didn’t want to just leave it at that, because I felt like layering store-bought ladyfingers, soaked with espresso and liquor, with mascarpone cream was the easy way out. And all those Masterchef Australia dessert pressure tests got me thinking about dome molds. They were sort of overused on the show, but I can see why– spherify anything and its fancy factor goes up a few notches.
And with a little last minute Amazon shopping (silicone demi molds are the greatest), googling, recipe-adapting, and substituting later– we have tiramisu domes: mascarpone kirsch mousse with a chocolate-espresso centre, espresso-soaked coffee stracciatella sponge, and a boozy white chocolate glaze.
I was thinking about making a few more elements: an almond soil, black sesame tuile, maybe some sort of sugar work. None of which I’ve done before, but I’ve always wanted to. Just to make it more of a cohesive dessert, because I wanted to pull out all the stops.
But last minute me was doing other things to get the house ready/relatively presentable for their arrival, and making black sesame tuiles at 1am was a bit much even for me, so I planned to plate it with the Cherry Kirsch Crisp in the morning. I wanted some acidity and tartness to balance it all out, anyway.
And in case you’re wondering, I don’t recommend serving it with swiss chard leaves, wonderful as they are. It was green and garnish worthy, so hey.
It’s… boozy, for starters. Unmistakably espresso-y. Captures the essence of tiramisu. There’s dual bitterness from both of those ingredients. But it’s also subtly sweet, and not too rich. Both the mousses were lighter than I expected, sort of along the lines of airy whipped cream ice cream.
I think I’d like to add more complexity next time I make it, and integrate a dacquoise layer into the dome, or at least have something crispy crunchy for more textural contrast.
It was a hit for Elaina and my family, thankfully. It was just funny because I couldn’t be home when they came back, so I wrote a little card describing all the elements, and they still didn’t know what they were eating. I was quite nervous to meet her, but looking back, I don’t know why. It’s just surprising how it took no time at all to feel like she’s always belonged here, if that makes sense?
Anyway, this dessert isn’t as time consuming to make as it looks– it’s just a lot of waiting around for the gelatin to do its job, so it should be done over the course of two days. Don’t let the long recipe perturb you, all the elements are really simple! I hope you give it a try. If spherical molds aren’t your thing, these can of course be layered in a cute glass, or -cough- mason jars.
Adapted from berry-lovely and hintofvanilla
Coffee Stracciatella sponge
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 70g sugar
- 35g flour
- 30g corn starch
- 15g good quality dark chocolate (70%), finely chopped
- 4g instant espresso powder
- 5 tbsp espresso
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp coffee liquor
Chocolate Espresso mousse
- 1 egg yolk
- 5g sugar
- 30g milk
- 20mL espresso
- 40g good quality dark chocolate (70%), chopped
- 1 sheet of gelatin (about 1/4 tbsp powdered gelatin)
- 65g heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 30g sugar
- 2 tbsp coffee liquor, or to taste
- 150g mascarpone
- 3 sheets of gelatin (3/4 tbsp powdered gelatin)
- 250g heavy cream
White chocolate ganache glaze
- 150g good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 150g heavy cream
- 2 tbsp coffee liquor, or to taste
For the chocolate espresso mousse (made 1 day ahead):
- In a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolk, sugar, milk and espresso. Whisk until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. You’re looking for ribbons in the mixture that hold their shape.
- Take the bowl off the heat, and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over top. Whisk until it dissolves.
- Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate, until it melts.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form, and fold into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Fill small silicon molds (1.5-inch diameter) with the mousse, and level it out. Freeze the mousse overnight.
For the coffee stracciatella sponge and espresso syrup (can be made the day of):
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a half-baking sheet (18″ by 13″) with parchment paper.
- Whisk the egg yolks with about 1/3 of your 70g of sugar, until the mixture is thick and lighter in colour.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; add the remaining 2/3 of your sugar and beat until still peaks form. Carefully fold in your egg whites into your egg yolks.
- Combine the flour, corn starch, espresso powder, and sift over the egg mixture. Add the finely chopped chocolate, and fold everything together, being careful not to overmix.
- Spread the batter evenly on the prepared baking sheet, and smooth out the top with an offset spatula.
- Bake for ~8 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool. Cut out 2.75-inch rounds.
- Combine all the ingredients for the espresso syrup, and gently brush onto the sponge cake rounds.
For the mascarpone mousse (made as the sponge is cooling, and done at least 5 hours before serving):
- As before, whisk together the egg yolk and 1/2 of your sugar over a double boiler. Whisk until the mixture has thickened and leaves ribbons when drizzled.
- Off the heat, sprinkle the gelatin in and stir until it dissolves. Also stir in your liquor, to taste. Keep in mind the flavour will be a little muted after folding in the mascarpone and cream.
- With a mixer, beat together the mascarpone and sugar until smooth. Slowly add the egg mixture to the mascarpone, and whisk to combine.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form, and fold into the mascarpone mixture.
- Fill the mousse into large silicon demi molds, 2.75-inch in diameter, about 3/4 to the top. Press one frozen chocolate espresso mousse demi sphere into the centre of each mold. Top with a sponge cake round, and press gently until it’s level.
- Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.
For the glaze:
- Bring your cream just to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour over finely chopped chocolate and allow to sit for one minute.
- Stir together until it’s fully combined, and cool to room temperature (really important– too hot and it’ll melt the mousse, too cold and it won’t glaze properly).
- Place a wire rack on top of a plate or baking sheet lined with plastic wrap.
- Place one frozen 2.75-inch demi sphere straight from the freezer onto the rack.
- Carefully pour the glaze over the frozen sphere, coating it evenly. Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Keep in the fridge until thawed, about an hour.
- Dance a little happy dance and serve to your loved ones!