Make sure all the tools, bowls and cutting boards are clean and
dry. Chop your chocolate into 1 half inch chunks. Set aside 5 chunks
of chocolate. Melt the remaining chocolate in a stainless steel bowl
over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir the chocolate every minute
or so to ensure even heating. The milk chocolate cannot go over
130ºF. However, it must reach 120ºF. Once the chocolate has come to
temperature, remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate you set
aside. Allow the chocolate to cool, scraping and stirring it with your
rubber spatula every 5 minutes. Once it cools to 82ºF you can reheat
it a bit to make it more viscous (no higher than 86ºF). Spread it out
evenly over a 9 inch by 12 inch transfer sheet or a plain piece of acetate. Once the chocolate begins to set, cut it into 1 inch by 2 1/2 inch
rectangles. Chill the sheets for 15 minutes and remove the chocolate
rectangles from the transfer sheet. Set them aside.
FRESH CHERRY VANILLA COMPOTE
2 lbs fresh cherries
1/2 cup Madeira
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wash and dry the cherries well. Using a cherry pitter or the tong
of a fork, pit the 2 pounds of cherries.
Run a paring knife down the center of the vanilla bean. Split it
open with your fingers and use the knife to scrape out the tiny black
seeds. Place the pitted cherries, the Madeira, the sugar, and the
vanilla bean—sliced and scraped—or the vanilla extract in a 2-4
quart pot over medium heat. Stir the mixture, bringing the cherries
on the bottom to the top, every 2 minutes as the fruit comes to a boil.
Simmer the cherries uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove the fruit
from the heat and allow the compote to cool. Chill the compote in
the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it (up to 3 days). Remove
the vanilla bean before serving.
CINNAMON CARAMEL MOUSSE
1 cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
pinch of cream of tartar or lemon juice
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon dry powdered gelatin
2 cups lightly whipped cream
pinch of salt
Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and begin to
whisk them on a medium speed. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin
over 1/4 cup of cold water and let this mixture sit while you prepare
Put the sugar, cream of tartar, and cinnamon sticks in a heavy
bottomed sauce pot, moisten with 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pot
and cook the sugar over medium high heat. Once the sugar has
come to a rapid boil, uncover the pot. While the sugar is cooking,
set aside 1/4 of water to pour into the caramel when it is done. Cook
sugar until it takes on a deep golden brown color. Turn off the heat
and very carefully pour the 1/4 cup water into the hot caramel. Stand
back. The caramel will hiss and bubble and spurt.
Once you have added the water, the caramel syrup should come
back to a rolling boil from the residual heat. Wait a minute until the
caramel syrup stops boiling, then slowly pour it into the yolks with
the mixer on high. With a rubber spatula, scrape bloomed gelatin
(gelatin water mixture) into the still-warm caramel pot and let it
melt into a syrupy liquid. Pour this liquid gelatin into the mixer.
Whisk egg yolks at a medium-high speed with hot caramel syrup
and gelatin until the egg yolks triple in volume and become warm to
room temperature. With a spatula, scrape out the cinnamon sticks.
Remove the whipped yolk and caramel base from the mixer.
Scrape the lightly whipped cream over the whipped caramel egg
yolks. Fold these 2 mixtures together with a spatula or bowl scraper.
Make sure you place your spatula in the center of the bowl, scrape
the bottom and bring the bottom over the top. Rotate the bowl 45
degrees and repeat this motion. Continue folding mixture together
until all the cream is incorporated. Chill the mousse.
Place a spoonful of compote onto each plate. Place a piece of
tempered chocolate on top of the cherries. Place the mousse in a
piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the mousse on top of the
tempered chocolate. Top the mousse with another piece of tempered
chocolate and repeat until you have 2 layers of mousse and 3 pieces
apple and quince tart
3 large quinces (about 16 oz)
4 medium apples, somewhat tart
8 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 recipe of flaky dough rolled out and pressed into a 11 1/2 round
tart pan, frozen or 8, 3 inch individual molds