Le Cafe Crème (Chocolate Coffee Cup) ▶
A spectacular dessert: frozen espresso parfaits, served in wafer-thin bitter chocolate cups topped with kirsch sabayon. For simplicity you can eliminate the chocolate cup: making the frozen parfait and kirsch sabayon is much less demanding. Chef Blin says this is so difficult to make at home, he invites you to come try his at Le Manoir.
- Chocolate Cups and Saucers
- Bittersweet Couverture Chocolate - 2-1/4 pounds, chopped
- Cup Handles and Sugar Cubes
- Bittersweet Couverture Chocolate - 1/4 pound, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Demerara sugar - 1/4 cup
- Coffee Parfait
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Water - 2 tablespoons
- Egg Yolks - 3
- Coffee Essence - 1 tablespoon (alt. 1/2 cup espresso)
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Kirsch Sabayon
- Half-and-half - 1/2 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1/8 cup
- Kirsch - 1 tablespoon (alt. cherry-based liqueur)
To make the cups: Wrap the saucers in plastic film wrap, making sure there are absolutely no wrinkles. Melt the chocolate to 112 F in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Pour out onto a marble top and allow to cool to 86 F. Return the chocolate to the pan and warm to 89 F. Place the plastic rectangles on a work surface and paint with a thin layer of chocolate, a little less than 1/8-inch thick. Use a palette knife and work quickly, or the chocolate will harden. As each is finished, quickly lift the plastic strip and curl it into a cylinder, chocolate-side in, ends touching each other, then place it inside a 2-inch ring mold to set. Spread a thin layer of chocolate on the silicone paper. When it loses its sheen, cut eight 2-inch circles using a mold as a cookie cutter. Peel the extra chocolate away from the circles; leftover chocolate may be put back into the warm chocolate and remelted. Slide a cylinder out of a mold. With the palm of your hand very gently press the still soft circle onto the bottom of the chocolate cylinder to seal the base. Repeat with the remaining cylinders and discs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Unwrap the plastic, which will free the chocolate cup.
To make the saucers: With a soft brush, spread a layer of chocolate over the plastic wrap covering the bottom of a saucer. Clean and smooth the edges with your thumb. Place on a tray, chocolate side up, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and carefully unwrap the plastic film to reveal the saucers.
To make the handles and sugar cubes: Bring the cream to a boil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it melts. Continue stirring until it has cooled enough to handle. Place the chocolate in a piping bag fitted with a 1/8-inch tip. Pipe handles onto a piece of heavy plastic or foil, sizing them in proportion to the cups. Let cool. Dip just the ends of a handle in melted chocolate, then press onto the side of a cup. Hold until it is cool enough to bond. Repeat with remaining handles. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes; store in a cool place.
Spread out the remaining chocolate-cream mixture 1/2-inch thick in a baking pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Cut 16 cubes, 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch by 3/4-inch, and roll them in the Demerara sugar until they are completely coated. Refrigerate.
To make the parfait: Heat the water and sugar in a small pan over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 248 F. Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a small heatproof bowl until the yolks are broken up but not frothy. Beating at medium speed, slowly pour in the hot sugar mixture in a small stream. Continue to beat until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. The volume of the mixture should have increased about five times. Beat in three-fourths of the coffee. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until it stands in firm peaks. Fold a large spoonful of whipped cream into the sugar-egg mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Divide the mixture among the molds and freeze until firm.
To make the sabayon: Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Continue to beat and gradually add the confectioners sugar and kirsch. Beat until it stands in soft peaks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To assemble: Remove the molds from the freezer and leave at room temperature for 1 – 2 minutes. In a cool room, place the coffee cups on a work surface. Pull the frozen parfait from the molds, or unwrap them. Place one frozen parfait mold in each coffee cup. Place the kirsch sabayon in a pastry bag fitted with a medium fluted tip and pipe sabayon on the top of each cup. Dip a cocktail stirrer in the remaining coffee and swirl through the sabayon. Place a saucer on each serving plate and top with a filled coffee cup. Put a small coffee spoon at the side of each saucer.
*Make your own molds if necessary by rolling heavy plastic strips, 5-1/2 inches by 2 inches, into cylinders and standing them in 1-3/4-inch ring molds placed on a baking sheet. The idea is to make frozen cylinders of parfait which will fit into the chocolate cups.