Chocolate Biscuit Stuffed with Raspberry Mousse
These lovely fruit-filled chocolate desserts hide two cake layers -- one almond, one chocolate -- plus raspberry mousse inside chocolate bands. They are served with apricot sauce and a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar.
- Biscuit Jaconde
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1-1/4 cups
- Almond powder - 1-1/4 cups
- Eggs - 5, separated
- Pinch of salt
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, melted
- All-Purpose Flour - 2 tablespoons, unbleached
- Chocolate Marquise
- Semi-sweet chocolate - 12 ounces, chopped
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 pound (4 sticks), at room temperature, but into tablespoon-sized pieces
- Eggs - 4, separated
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Raspberry Mousse
- Egg Whites - 4
- Pinch of salt
- Raspberries - 2 cups
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Cream Cheese - 6 ounces
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Unflavored gelatin - 2 packets
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 4 ounces, chopped
- Apricot Sauce
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Clove - 1
- Vanilla bean - 1/2, split lengthwise
- Cinnamon Stick - 1/3
- Apricots - 6, peeled, pitted, and diced
- Kiwi - 4, peeled, sliced, and quartered
- Strawberries - 8 large, halved
- Orange - 1, segmented, membrane removed from each segment
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Mint sprigs - 4
To make the almond biscuit: Preheat the oven to 475 F. Line a 12-inch-by-18-inch-by-1-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the confectioner’s sugar, almond powder, and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and set to medium-high. Beat 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the pinch of salt and increase the speed to high. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form.
Remove the almond mixture from the beater and fold in the melted butter and flour. Fold in the egg whites, leaving the batter slightly lumpy. Spread over the prepared pan. Bake 3 to 4 minutes, until firmed. Remove and let cool completely.
To make the marquise: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a 12-inch round springform pan with parchment paper. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate. Put the confectioner’s sugar and butter pieces in a large bowl. Fold in the melted chocolate, blending as the butter melts. Whisk in the egg yolks. In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed to high and slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 15 - 20 minutes, until the cake is firm and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove and let cool completely in the pan.
To make the mousse: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Puree the raspberries in a processor or blender and strain to remove the seeds. Combine the sugar, water, and raspberry puree in a skillet or saute pan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over the puree mixture and put back over medium-low heat, stirring gently until the gelatin melts. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Whisk in the cream cheese. Fold in the egg whites. Refrigerate.
To assemble: Cut a 12-inch circle of the almond cake and press over the chocolate cake in the springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Remove from the springform pan and cut into four 4-inch layered discs. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Cover a work surface with waxed paper. Cut four 2-1/2-inch wide strips of foil or flexible plastic long enough to circle a cake disk and spread the strips on the prepared work surface. One at a time, using a spatula, spread chocolate across a strip in a thin layer. Let set until the surface loses its shine, then lift the strip and wrap, chocolate-side in, around a cake disk. Leave the foil or plastic in place. Place the wrapped discs on a baking sheet. Fill each almost to the top of the strip with raspberry mousse, leaving the filling rough on top and some space for fruit later. Freeze at least 4 hours.
To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, clove, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the apricots and simmer over low heat until the apricots are tender. When cooked, pick out the clove, vanilla bean pod, and cinnamon stick. Blend the sauce until smooth with a stick blender or in a processor or blender, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to chill.
To serve: Remove the cakes from the freezer and let warm slightly. Carefully peel the foil or plastic away from the chocolate around the cakes and place one cake on each serving plate. Fill the tops with pieces of fruit. Spoon apricot sauce on the plates. Dust each plate with confectioner’s sugar. Garnish each with a mint sprig.