Sunday, 30 January 2011

Black forest verrines

The past month was full of activity!  First I had my move to Discovery Bay right before Christmas, then it was Christmas and New Year celebrations... in mid January a major deal at work finally closed (something I've been working on for months so that was a huge relief).  I also managed to squeeze in a snowboarding trip to Niseko (plenty of amazing fresh powder everyday!)... And in a blink Chinese New Year is now almost here!

With plenty going on, I've not had the chance to spend much time in my new kitchen which is strange given it was really the kitchen that sold the apartment.  Its an open kitchen which gives me much more working space compared to my previous one - great for all sorts of baking and cooking projects!  This weekend I made up for my absence in the kitchen by working on something that's been swirling around in my head for some time - Black forest verrines.

The black forest cake is such a traditional favorite that I thought it might be fun to give it a not-so-traditional twist.  I laid the chocolate gateau, chocolate mousse, dark cherries and cream mousse layers down in a small cup rather than building it up as a full cake.  Pre-soaking the dark cherries in rum gives this dessert a real oomph! 

Recipe below makes 10 verrines

Chocolate gateau layer:
- 3 eggs
- 60g sugar
- 55g plain flour
- 10g cocoa powder
- 30g melted butter
Chocolate mousse layer:
- 80g dark couverture
- 130g whipping cream
Dark cherries layer:
- 20 pitted dark cherries (from a can)
- 25g rum
Cream mousse layer:
- 15g sugar
- 170g whipping cream

Soak cherries in rum. 
Line a square cake tin that is around 7 by 7 inch.  Sieve plain flour and cocoa powder together and set aside. Hand whisk eggs and sugar over bain marie till it reaches 40C.  Using an electric whisk, beat till egg mixture becomes light and frothy.  Fold in flour and cocoa powder mixture.  Fold melted butter into mixture.  Bake in preheated 170C oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  When cooled, cut cake into 2 layers and into small pieces that would fit into cups used for the verrines. Each verrine would need 3 layers of chocolate gateau.
Whisk 130g of whipping cream till soft peaks forms.  Melt dark couverture over bain marie before folding into whipped cream until an even mousse forms.
Whisk remaining whipping cream with 15g sugar till soft peak forms.

To assemble the verrines, place 1 layer of chocolate gateau at the bottom of a small glass cup.  Top with a layer of chocolate mousse followed by a 2nd layer of chocolate gateau.  Place 2 dark cherries into each cup on top of the 2nd chocolate gateau layer and distribute any remaining rum mixture among all cups, allowing it to soak into the 2nd chocolate gateau layer.  Fill in the spaces between the cherries with cream mousse, followed by a 3rd chocolate gateau layer.  Top the cups with remaining cream mousse.  Sprinkle some cocoa powder over top of each verrine.  Once the cream mousse has firmed up in the fridge, a cherry (or other fruits) may be added on top as desired.


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