Chocolate and Raspberry Towers for Dessert
This dessert recipe for Chocolate and Raspberry Towers was part of a 3-course gluten-free online class that I presented in September. The rest of the menu included panisse (chickpea fritters) served with fresh lemon, skewered grilled shrimp, roasted fennel and cherry tomatoes. In addition to recipes, I share plating techniques that I learned in a Michelin-star kitchen in Provence.
Chocolate and Raspberry Towers
- Piping bag with large star tip
- Sheet tray
- 3-inch circle template or cookie cutter
- Silicone mat (such as Silpat)
- Other: digital scale, whisk, offset spatula, saucepan
Chocolate Round Ingredients:
- 5 lbs Valrhona dark chocolate
- 1 pint Raspberries
Chocolate Pastry Cream Ingredients:
- 16 oz Milk Or coconut milk)
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 3 Egg yolks
- 1 Egg
- 4 oz Sugar
- 5 tbsp Cornstarch
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 6 oz Valrhona Dark Chocolate
- 1 oz Butter softened (Or vegan butter)
- Option: To garnish you can use fresh mint or powdered sugar!
Instructions for the Chocolate Rounds:
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
- Lay the silicone mat on the sheet tray.
- Spread the melted chocolate in a thin layer using the offset spatula and let it cool.
- Then place in the refrigerator.
- When the chocolate is cooled, repeatedly dip the chocolate template or round cookie cutter in a bowl of hot water before cutting the 18 rounds needed for the dessert.
Instructions for Chocolate Pastry Cream:
- Add the milk and vanilla into a saucepan; heat the milk over medium heat to bring it to a rolling boil.
- Add the sugar, egg and yolks, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk until you have a thick, smooth light yellow mixture.
- As soon as the milk starts to boil, remove it from the heat.
- Slowly pour about one half of the hot milk in a thin stream into the egg mix while constantly whisking to temper the mixture. This will prevent the eggs from cooking.
- When the eggs have been tempered, add the egg mix back into the hot milk in the saucepan.
- Heat the pastry cream over medium heat while whisking vigorously until it starts to thicken and becomes a custard – this should take about 4 - 5 minutes.
- While whisking, bring the custard to a gentle boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and immediately add the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Remove from the heat, add the butter and whisk it in.
- Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the whole surface. This is to prevent a skin from forming on the pastry cream.
- Allow the pastry cream to cool down to room temperature and then let it chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. *I normally make my pastry cream the day before I prepare this dessert so it can cool and set!
Assembling the dessert:
- Take the 18 disks of chocolate prepared with a circular cookie cutter (from the first section).
- Fill a piping page, using a star tip with the chocolate pastry cream.
- Place a chocolate round on the plate, then pipe chocolate pastry cream and place 6 raspberries on that layer.
- Add a second chocolate round on top of that and repeat the process.
- Finally, add a third chocolate round, pipe the chocolate pastry cream on it and place a single raspberry on top.
- Optional: Garnish with powdered sugar or fresh mint.