Puccini Parfait of Dark Chocolate Mousse, Crushed Hazelnut Brittle and Orange Mascarpone Cream
Dark chocolate mousse:
9 ounces Valrhona bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, such as Land O’Lakes
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange flavored liqueur
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
5 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces roasted hazelnuts*
Orange mascarpone cream:
3/4 cup orange juice
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Chocolate butterfly garnish:
4 ounces Valrhona bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
*Note: to roast hazelnuts, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast 8 to 12 minutes, shaking the pan 2 or 3 times until the nuts are golden beneath their skins. Wrap the nuts in a clean towel and cool completely. Transfer the nuts to a large sieve and rub them back and forth to remove the loose skins.
Make the dark chocolate mousse:
1. In a small, heavy saucepan combine the chocolate and butter. Over low heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the Grand Marnier. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl set over simmering water, combine the egg yolks and 6 tablespoons of sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg yolk mixture about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 140°F. Continue beating for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the egg yolks are cool. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl set over simmering water combine the egg whites and remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the whites until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 140°F. Continue beating for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the whites are cool. Fold in the chocolate mixture and pipe or spoon into eight 6-ounce parfait glasses.
Make the hazelnut brittle:
4. Lightly oil a baking sheet. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to cook without stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until the syrup turns dark amber and caramelizes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda (mixture will foam up). Stir in the roasted hazelnuts. Pour the hazelnut praline onto the prepared baking sheet. Cool the praline for 20 minutes, or until hard.
5. Coarsely chop the praline on a cutting board, using a large knife. In a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade, process the brittle for 35 to 45 seconds, until finely ground. Store on a tightly covered container.
Make the orange mascarpone cream:
6. In a small saucepan add the orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until juice reduces to 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool.
7. In a 41/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the mascarpone cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Slowly add the reduced orange juice and heavy cream. Continue beating until the mixture is the texture of light whipped cream. (Do not overwhip.) Chill until ready to use.
Make the chocolate butterfly garnish:
8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate according to the directions in the Chocolate Key on page 65. Make a small cone out of parchment paper, fill with chocolate and pipe into butterfly design. Make six butterflies. Let cool and harden completely, handling as little as possible.
Assemble the parfait:
9. Sprinkle a thin layer of hazelnut praline over chocolate mousse in each parfait glass. Pipe or spoon orange mascarpone cream over hazelnut praline, divided evenly among eight parfaits. Garnish each with a chocolate butterfly.
For more gourmet chocolate recipes, and other ways to create a specialty chocolate gift, please see our chocolate recipes section. Thank you for visiting chocolate.com.
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