Summer Berries with White Chocolate Mousse
What a wonderful way to serve summer’s fresh berries: almond cake is topped with white chocolate mousse and white chocolate fans, then filled and garnished with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. When working with chocolate, keep the room cool. Chef Partoens has a particularly unusual way of saucing his plates, spinning sauces until they spray out across the rims.
- Almond Cake
- Egg Whites - 3/4 cup (about 6 eggs)
- Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Almond Flour - 1-1/4 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1 cup
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/3 cup
- White Chocolate Mousse
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1-1/4 cup
- White Couverture Chocolate - 8 ounces
- Honey - 2 tablespoons
- Grand Marnier - 1/2 cup (orange-flavored liqueur)
- White Chocolate Fans
- White Couverture Chocolate - 3 ounces, tempered to 85 F
- Salad oil - 2 ounces
- Spray Design Plates
- Creme Anglaise (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Chocolate Sauce (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Raspberry Sauce (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Mango Sauce (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Strawberries - 1-1/2 pints, hulled and sliced
- Blueberries - 1 pint
- Raspberries - 1 pint
- Cocoa powder - for sprinkling
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a deep bowl, whisk the egg whites with the granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Sift the almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and all-purpose flour together. Sprinkle one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold together. Repeat until all the flours have been incorporated into the egg whites. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake 20 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make the mousse: Bring 1/2 cup of the heavy cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the white couverture chocolate, followed by the honey. Stir to blend. Refrigerate for four hours. Whisk the chocolate mixture (ganache) and remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream together until firm peaks form.
To assemble: Cut twelve 3-1/2-inch discs out of the almond cake and place on a work tray. Brush with liqueur. Pipe white chocolate mousse 1-1/4 inches high on the outer edge of the cake discs.
To make the fans: Mix the oil with the tempered melted chocolate. Pour a fine line on a marble slab or similar flat work surface and spread out evenly in a long strip using a long thin spatula. The chocolate should be about 1/16-inch thick or less. As soon as the chocolate begins to set, scrape up the strip and pinch at one long side into a fan, placing the fan on the mousse circles and pinching to fit. Repeat to cover each circle with fans. Leave a 1-inch space between the fans to fill with berries. Chill for 15 - 20 minutes.
To decorate the plates: Connect a one-yard piece of string to the bottom of a turntable plate and turn to roll up the string around the turntable spindle. Place four pieces of modeling clay on the outer circle of the turntable plate to hold the serving plates in position. Spoon a small circle of creme anglaise in the centers of the serving plates. Pipe the other three sauces on the first serving plate in concentric circles, starting at the creme anglaise: mango, raspberry, chocolate. Place the plate on the turntable, securing it firmly to the clay, then forcefully pull the string to spin the plate and spray the sauces out across the rim. Remove the plate from the turntable and repeat with remaining plates. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve: Place a mousse in the center of each spray design plate. Cuddle strawberries in the folds of the fans. Garnish the plates with blueberries and raspberries. Very very lightly sprinkle the fans with cocoa powder.