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White Chocolate-Chestnut Mousse
By Azul, Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami
January / February 2004
For the chocolate-chestnut layer
- 2 cups chestnut paste
- 10 1/2 oz. white chocolate
- 3 sheets gelatin
- 2 cups plain yogurt
For the coconut-tapioca layer
- 1 cup tapioca pearls
- 12 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup sugar
For the rose-scented froth
- 4 cups nonfat milk
- 1/4 tsp rosewater (available in gourmet, Middle Eastern, and Indian stores)
For optional garnish
- 1/4 cup rose petals (hydroponic only), if available
- Store-bought puff pastry, cut into wedges and baked according to package directions
- Strands of pulled sugar
- Cubed honeydew
1. To make the chocolate-chestnut layer, beat the chestnut paste until it's smooth and creamy. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then fold it into the chestnut paste. Bloom the gelatin in cold water and then squeeze out the excess water when softened. Heat the gelatin with half the yogurt over very low heat in a saucepan, just until the gelatin has melted. Combine the gelatin mixture with the rest of the yogurt and then fold it into the chestnut mixture. Divide into 4 ramekins.
2. For the coconut-tapioca layer, bring the water to a rolling boil and add the pearls. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the pearls are translucent. Drain the pearls, put them back into the pot, add the coconut milk, and bring it to a boil. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken. Pour the mixture into the ramekins as the second layer and place the ramekins in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
3. For the rose-scented froth, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced by half. Add the rosewater and petals. Let stand 1 hour, then strain and chill. Using a hand blender, froth the sauce right before serving.
4. To serve, run a clean paring knife around each ramekin and invert it over a plate to release the mousse lightly onto the plate. Spoon 2 or 3 tablespoons of the rose-scented froth over each serving and garnish with rose petals, puff pastry wedges, pulled sugar, and honeydew (if using).