DessertFlans, PuddingsProvencal RecipesTasha PowellTaste

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

Chocolate and Raspberry Towers

blankTasha Powell
This dessert looks impressive, but it is not complicated to make, and your guests will love it.
Prep Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • Bain-marie
  • Piping bag with large star tip
  • Sheet tray
  • Forceps
  • 3-inch circle template or cookie cutter
  • Silicone mat (such as Silpat)
  • Other: digital scale, whisk, offset spatula, saucepan

Ingredients
 
 

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
 

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.

Notes

Note:  Melting chocolate is tricky and there is a science behind tempering chocolate! Do not overheat the chocolate! Remove it from the bain-marie when you can still see an outline of the chocolate, then mix it rigorously as to melt all the chocolate and then start to cool it.
Keyword Chocolate, Pastry Cream, Raspberries
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Chocolate Desserts:

Grandmère’s Chocolate Cake
This is such a special recipe for me. It’s been handed down through my mother’s side of the family and it’s the cake Grandmère always used to make for us when there was a birthday or other celebration. I’ve never tasted another chocolate cake quite like it (believe me, I’ve tried many). Whatever you do, don’t overcook it. Five minutes too long in the oven and the middle will dry out. Like American brownies, you want the centre to be sticky and squidgy and a little sunken. It will glue your mouth closed and taste heavenly.
Check out this recipe
My Grandmother's Chocolate cake Recipe
Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Nib Brittle
This recipe involves two steps, make the brittle in advance and the chocolate mousse takes very little time.
Check out this recipe
French Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Lava Cake with Candied Ginger
Easy, tasty and delicious a dessert for chocolate lovers.
Check out this recipe
Chocolate Lava Cakes Candied Ginger

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Tasha Powell

Tasha Powell

Tasha Powell is a food stylist and writer who specializes in working with celebrity chefs and leaders in the hospitality industry. She cooks and styles for monographs, cookbooks and Satellite Media Tours, working between North America and Europe. Take a look at her mouthwatering photos on Cooking with a French Twist. Since July 2020, she has offered themed Zoom cooking classes influenced by her travels in France and Morocco. Here are a few:

• Fusion Vegetarian Menu: Cheese Soufflé, Grilled Vegetable Kabobs, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Crème Fraiche & Floating Islands
• Fall in Provence: Carrot Soup, Seared Duck Breast and Chocolate & Pear Tarte
• 3-Course Gluten-Free Menu: Panisse, Grilled Shrimp & Chocolate Towers with Michelin Star plating techniques
• Food Styling Tips: Apéro Dînatoire, presentation & plating
• 4-Course Gluten-Free Menu: Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce, Zucchini Rollups, Roasted Leek Salad & Chocolate Lava Cakes, Michelin Star plating techniques
• Just Stuffed! Stuffed Aubergines, Tomatoes & Zucchini
• Provençal Cuisine: Baked Ratatouille Tian & Tarte du Soleil
• Add Sparkle, Shimmer, Silver and Gold to Your Culinary Presentations! By Lynn Neuberg of Easy Leaf Products and Chef Tasha Powell

Class listings can be found at Chef Tasha Events

Tasha also arranges culinary tours with Barbara Pitcher in Provence, France, in Marrakech, Morocco, in Sicily, Italy and in Parry Sound, Canada under Pitcher and Powell Cuisine and Culture.

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