Lemon Cream Cappuccino
It helps to have a cool kitchen and cool hands when you create chocolate pieces like these little cups. Once you have mastered them, the cups can be used to hold a variety of fillings. Here they are used to present coffee-flavored sabayon and tart lemon cream. The cups, lemon cream, and sabayon should all be made one day ahead. You can simplify the preparation by substituting pieces of ladyfinger or sponge cake for the bisquit. You’ll find mocha paste at bakers’ supply stores.
- Chocolate Cups
- Couverture Chocolate - 4 ounces
- Lemon Cream
- Whole Eggs - 4
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks), at room temperature, cut into pieces
- Grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
- Cappuccino Sabayon
- Egg Yolks - 4
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Plain gelatin - 1/2 envelope
- Brewed, cold, decaffeinated espresso - 1/2 cup
- Kahlua - 1/4 cup
- Mocha Paste - 1 tablespoon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1-1/4 cups
- St. Marc Bisquit
- Almonds - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Egg Whites - 11
- Sugar - 7/8 cup plus 1-1/4 cups
- Cake flour - 1 cup
- Brewed, cold, decaffeinated espresso - 3/4 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/3 cup
- Cocoa powder for dusting
To make the cups and saucers: Start with the cups. Cut six heavy flexible plastic strips 8-3/4 inches long and 4 inches wide. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and heat to 100 F. Let the chocolate cool to 90 F. Place on a heating pad set on the lowest setting to maintain 90 F; do not allow the chocolate to become cooler, or warmer than 93 F. Lay the plastic strips on a flat work surface and use a brush or thin spatula to spread a layer of chocolate less than 1/8 inch thick on a strip. When the chocolate loses its sheen but is still flexible, lift the strip with both hands and curve it, chocolate side in, to fit inside a 3-inch ring mold or piece of PVC pipe ring. Slip the strip inside the mold, making sure the ends of the strip just meet. Repeat with the remaining strips. Roll one tablespoon chocolate between your palms and the work surface like modeling clay until it forms a 10-inch-long stick. Make 6; refrigerate to set.
To make the saucers, lay a piece of parchment or waxed paper on a work surface and spread a layer of chocolate 1/8 inch thick or less on the paper. Let set until firm, then lay a second piece of paper over the chocolate, grasp both layers of paper, and flip the entire stack. Remove the first layer of paper, exposing a smooth chocolate surface. Using a 3-1/2-inch-diameter glass or ring mold, cut through the chocolate with the point of a sharp knife to make six 3-1/2-inch-diameter circles. Pull the remaining chocolate away from the circles and set aside.
When the chocolate molds are completely set, lift the plastic circles out of the ring molds and gently peel off the plastic strips, exposing the chocolate cylinders. Lift the chocolate discs from the parchment and place one on each serving plate. Warm a sheet pan in a 200 F oven. Put the warm pan on a work surface. With cool hands, gently lift one of the chocolate cylinders, touch one end of it briefly to the warmed pan until it starts to melt, then immediately place it in the center of one of the chocolate circles, forming a cup. Repeat with the remaining cylinders. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until set, or store overnight.
To make the lemon cream: In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until smooth. Add the butter and zest and beat until smooth again. Put in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water and cook until the mixture thickens, about 12 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the lemon juice and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly until it begins to set. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl, press plastic wrap on the surface to cover, and refrigerate overnight.
To make the sabayon: In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, combine the egg yolks and sugar and beat until it gets thick and foamy, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the gelatin over the espresso and stir to dissolve. Stir in the Kahlua and mocha paste. Stir the mixture into the developing sabayon and place the pan in a bowl of ice water to chill, stirring occasionally. In a deep bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the sabayon, blending well. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
To make the bisquit: In a food processor or nut grinder, combine the almonds and sugar and process to a fine meal. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and the 7/8 cup of sugar until stiff peaks form. Sift the almond meal, remaining sugar, and cake flour and gently fold into the meringue.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line one half of a jelly roll pan with parchment or waxed paper and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spread the mixture evenly over the paper and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until firm. Let cool and cut into 2-1/2-inch circles to fit inside the chocolate cups.
To serve: Remove the cups, lemon cream, and sabayon from the refrigerator. Whip the lemon cream and the sabayon to restore their light texture. With an iced tea spoon or similar small spoon, place a dot of lemon cream in the bottom of each cup to anchor the bisquit. Gently press a bisquit circle inside the cup and soak it with 2 teaspoons of espresso. Spoon in more lemon cream until the cup is half filled, then fill to within 1/8-inch of the top with the cappuccino sabayon. Repeat with the remaining cups. In a deep bowl, whip the cream until it just starts to thicken. Spoon the cream over the sabayon to the top of each cup. Garnish each cup with a chocolate stick and dust the cups and plates with cocoa powder.