Sunday, June 21, 2009

Douceurs for Deux Soeurs

The week following the dark chocolate practical was filled with experiences involving (surprise, surprise!) more chocolate. The next practical was something called Douceur.

The name sounded promising indeed. I discovered this lovely entremet consisted of thin discs of milk chocolate, layered with milk chocolate mousse and dark chocolate-praline croquant, atop a base of hazelnut dacquoise. The finished taste combined the richness of nuts, the texture of a chocolate crunch bar and the smooth creaminess of rich mousse. It was indeed heavenly in the mouth, with the varied textures and flavours. And of course, it was once of those ‘ooh-ahh’ desserts which really excite people just by appearance alone.

I did well in tempering my milk chocolate and preparing the discs and forms of chocolate. I used the pot tempering method Chef Walther had shown us and avoided all the mess and hassle of cooling the chocolate atop the marble workbench. Anticipating an ample amount of leftover dacquoise mixture, I made several extra smaller discs and forms so I could construct some miniature Douceurs with the extra ingredients.

The milk chocolate mousse was very temperamental – both in the mixing stage and also during the decorating stage. Temperatures were critical at the mixing stage, when the thermal contrast between ingredients of different temperatures such as melted chocolate and whipped cream could easily cause the mixture to seize up or become grainy in texture. I managed to avoid any problems at the mixing stage, but by the time I was piping out the final garnishes of mousse atop the larger Douceur, the mixture was separating (just from the warmth of my hands – which by the way, are not very warm at all!).

The mini Douceurs were my favorites. They were very cute and could be savored in about 4 bites, and their appearance remained more or less intact during this process. The large Douceur was good looking until the first slice was removed….then it looked very disheveled very quickly. That said, there was a lot more of the delectable crunch layer to enjoy on the large Douceur.

I arrived at Isabelle’s to discover her sister was visiting – good thing I had multiples to share!!

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