Frozen Souffles under a Chocolate Dome ►
In this spectacular presentation, scoops of frozen souffles in three different flavors with three different sauces are hidden under chocolate domes that have been dusted with real gold. For a simpler dessert, forego the domes and just garnish the souffles with fresh berries.
Note: Mexican balloons seem to hold up best to the heat of the chocolate in this process, and are used by many chefs. Check party supply stores and departments, looking for balloon packages that say “made in Mexico.” Gold dust for decorating food may be obtained from Albert Uster Imports, 1-800-231-8154; www.auiswiss.com.
- Basic Frozen Souffle Mixture
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 cups
- Eggs - 3, separated
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Green Crème de Menthe - 1/4 cup, with 2 ounces melted white chocolate
- Grand Marnier - 1/4 cup
- Orange Zest Powder
- Dried Coconut - 1/4 cup
- Praline Paste - 1/2 cup
- Dark Rum - 1/4 cup
- Chocolate Domes
- Chocolate - 2 pounds, good quality, semi-sweet coating, chopped
- Mexican Balloons - 8, (see note, above)
- Milk Chocolate - 2 ounces, chopped
- White Chocolate - 1 ounce, chopped
- Gold Dust - (see note, above)
- Caramel - 1 cup
- Mango - 1 cup
- Chocolate Sauces - 1 cup
- Strawberries - 8 fresh
- Raspberries - 1/2 pint
- Mint Leaves
To make the souffles: For each flavoring, in a deep bowl, whisk the cream until firm (but not stiff) peaks form. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over simmering water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the pan) and whisk until the mixture is lukewarm. Off the heat, beat the mixture at high speed until doubled in volume. Blend the flavoring ingredients into the whipped cream. Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture. Pour into a 6-cup bowl, cover, and freeze.
Repeat for each souffle, changing the flavoring ingredients.
To make the domes: In a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and stir until cool to the touch but still liquid. Blow up the balloons until they are the proper size to make a dome that will cover the souffles and sit on the serving plates which will be used. Tie a knot to hold in the air.
If necessary, transfer the chocolate to a warmed bowl large enough to hold a balloon, making absolutely certain there is no water or other liquid in the bowl before you add the chocolate. Dip a balloon into the chocolate to the depth necessary to achieve the diameter needed. Tip it to evenly coat up the sides as necessary. The coating should reach about 3 to 4 inches up the sides. Lift the coated balloon from the chocolate and let the chocolate drain for a moment, then turn it right side up and let the excess chocolate drain toward the base. Turn the balloon constantly to build up the thickness around the base of the dome. Your goal is to make chocolate shells thin enough to break with a spoon, but thick and firm enough to hold up while the dessert is being served. When the chocolate is thick enough, place the balloon, knot-side down, in a container that will hold it without touching the chocolate. Chill or freeze for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely firm.
Remove the balloon when the chocolate has hardened: Place the dome on waxed paper. Hold the knot between two fingers, pierce the balloon with a knife, and slowly release the air. The balloon may stick at the base, but it can be easily pulled loose. If a small hole develops in a dome, repair it with melted chocolate. If the dome crumples as the balloon deflates, the chocolate was not coated thickly enough; stir the chocolate back into the melted chocolate and try again until it works well. Repeat to make 8 balloon shells — nine if you’d like a spare. Place the domes on their bases on parchment or waxed paper.
In separate small saucepans, melt the milk and white chocolates over barely simmering water. Put each melted chocolate in a small pastry bag with a fine writing tip, or a parchment paper cone with a very small snipped tip. Drizzle lines of both chocolates over the domes, edge to edge, to decorate. Dust each dome lightly with gold dust. Place the domes in the freezer until ready to serve.
To serve: Place about 2 tablespoons of each sauce in a triangle on each dessert plate, spreading the pools out slightly. Place one scoop of crème de menthe souffle on each pool of chocolate sauce. Place one scoop of Grand Marnier souffle on each pool of caramel sauce. Place one scoop of coconut-rum souffle on each pool of mango sauce. Garnish the center where the three scoops meet with a strawberry or raspberries and a few mint leaves. Cover each plate with a dome.
Variations: Substitute one or both of the following flavorings for one or two of the above souffle flavorings: 2 tablespoons white crème de menthe mixed with 2 tablespoons crème de cacao, or 1/2 cup small chocolate chips.
Orange Zest Powder - Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Using a small knife or zester, remove the zest (outer colored skin) of the oranges without picking up any of the bitter white pith underneath. If you have used a knife, cut the zest into fine julienne.
In a small, heavy, non-aluminum saucepan, cook the sugar and water together over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the zest and cook for 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the zest from the syrup and place in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Bake until the zest is very crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Grind to a fine powder in a food processor or spice grinder. Store in a tightly covered jar. This same approach may be used with lemon and lime zests.