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Chocolate Star Gazing Observatory
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Recipe Information
Source:
L'Espalier, Boston, Massachusetts

Ingredients
  • Chocolate Mousse:
  • 1 lb (.5 kg) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs separated
  • 1/2 lb (.2 kg) powdered sugar
  • 2 cups (475 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) armagnac
  • Chocolate Raspberry Cakes:
  • 1/4 oz (7 grm) chocolate liquor
  • 6 oz (168 grm) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 lb (.2 kg) butter
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) seedless raspberry puree
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup (225 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) cake flour
  • Chocolate Meringues:
  • 1/8 cup (30 ml) room temperature egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp (1 ml) cream of tartar
  • 1/8 cup (30 ml) plus 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) cocoa powder
  • Chocolate Domes:
  • 6 oz (168 grm) bitter-sweet chocolate
  • 4 small balloons
  • Chocolate Bands:
  • 6 oz (168 grm) white chocolate
  • 4 9 inch by 1-1/2 inch wax paper strips
  • Chocolate Tuiles:
  • 4 oz (112 grm) unsalted butter
  • 2 oz (56 grm) honey
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup (30 ml) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) all purpose flour
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Sugar Hook and Star:
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) lemon juice
Preparation
  • Chocolate Mousse:
  • Melt chocolate over double boiler with armagnac.
  • Meanwhile, whip yolks with 1/4 lb (.1 kg) powdered sugar to a ribbon stage.
  • Whip whites to soft peaks and add 1/4 lb (.1 kg) powdered sugar.
  • Whip to stiff, shiny peaks.
  • Whip heavy cream to soft peaks.
  • Fold cooled chocolate into yolk mixture.
  • Fold in whites.
  • Fold in heavy cream.
  • Chocolate Raspberry Cakes:
  • Melt chocolates and butter over double boiler.
  • Beat yolks with half the sugar to ribbon stage.
  • Fold into chocolate with puree.
  • Beat white to soft peaks.
  • Add the other half the sugar.
  • Fold into chocolate with cake flour sifted over the top.
  • Bake on 1/2 sheet pan at 350 degrees (175 C.) for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Cool, then cut out 16 3 inch circles with a round cookie cutter.
  • Chocolate Meringues:
  • Beat whites until frothy.
  • Add cream of tartar.
  • Beat until soft peaks form and add 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) sugar.
  • Beat until stiff peaks form and add remaining sugar.
  • Beat until stiff and glossy.
  • Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar together. Fold into whites.
  • Mark 8 3 inch circles on parchment paper and line baking sheet. Pipe meringue onto the circles.
  • Bake at 200 degrees (90 C.) for 2 hours or until meringues are hard.
  • Chocolate Domes:
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  • Inflate balloons.
  • Dip two smooth ends into chocolate, and chill until the chocolate is hard.
  • Pop balloons.
  • Repeat to produce 8 chocolate domes.
  • Chocolate Bands:
  • Melt chocolate over a double boiler.
  • Spread melted chocolate over one side of strip.
  • Place on pan and cook until the strip looks dull.
  • Chocolate Tuiles:
  • Cream butter and honey until smooth.
  • Add sifted sugar, cocoa, and flour.
  • Add egg whites gradually at high speed.
  • Spread chocolate tuile batter on a greased sheet pan.
  • Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees (175 C.).
  • Cut small squares and while tuile is still warm, wrap around a pen or straw. Let cool.
  • Cut and mold 8 tuiles in total.
  • Sugar Hook and Star:
  • Place sugar and lemon juice in pan over high heat.
  • Stir constantly until sugar melts and become medium brown in color.
  • Remove from heat and continue stirring until caramel cools slightly.
  • Form 8 stars on on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  • On another pan, form 8 long hooks to hold the stars.
  • Assembly:
  • Fill chocolate cups with mousse.
  • Spread a thin coat of mousse over the top of chocolate meringue discs.
  • Top each disk with a chocolate cake circle.
  • Layer mousse on top of cake.
  • Repeat with another layer of cake.
  • Invert chocolate domes onto chocolate cake circles.
  • Wrap chocolate cake layers with white chocolate strips.
  • Chill until chocolate bands are set.
  • Peel off the wax paper from the bands.
  • Cut a 1/2 inch hole in chocolate domes and insert tuile cookie.
  • Lean caramel sugar rod against dome, and hang a star off the hook.
Comments
A rather incredible sounding dessert (actually several desserts assembled into one) from a landmark Boston restaurant.

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