Lemongrass-infused White Chocolate Mousse
Chilled bombes of lemon grass-infused white chocolate mousse conceal centers of mango gelee and rest on lemon bisquit. A whimsical dotted sponge cake wraps the outside edges. Ginger Lace Tuiles form cups on top of each mousse, holding fresh berries. The fresh citrusy lemon grass flavor contrasts with the silky chocolate, and the fragrant mango is a surprise for guests. Chef Ho further decorates his plates with pulled sugar, a separate art in itself; the sugar decoration is deleted here, as it is not eaten.
- Lemon Grass-infused Milk
- Lemon Grass - 1 stalk, white part, minced
- Milk - 3/4 cup
- Ginger-laced Tuiles
- Pectin - 1 teaspoon
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 7 tablespoons
- Glucose - 1.8 ounces (alt. 2 tablespoons corn syrup)
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Fresh Ginger - 1 inch, grated
- Dotted Sponge
- Unsalted Butter - 2 cups, at room temperature
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 4 cups, sifted
- Egg Whites - 16
- All-Purpose Flour - 3-1/2 cups
- Dash vanilla extract
- Unsweetened Cocoa - 1/2 cup
- Lemon Bisquit
- Almond Flour - 1 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1 cup
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Egg Whites - 3 large
- Granulated Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Mango Gelees
- Unflavored gelatin - 1 packet
- Cold Water - 1/8 cup
- Mango Puree (see Basics) - 1-1/4 cup
- Sugar - 1/3 cup
- White Rum - 2 tablespoons
- White Chocolate Mousse
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Unflavored gelatin - 3/4 packet
- Cold Water - 1/8 cup
- Lemon grass-infused milk (above) - 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon
- Egg Yolks - 2 large
- Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- White Chocolate - 4-1/2 ounces, chopped
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Mango Puree (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Fresh Blueberries - 1 cup
- Fresh Raspberries - 1/2 cup
- Mango - 1, peeled, pitted, and sliced into long strips
- Fresh Kiwi - 2, sliced
- Strawberries - 12
To infuse the lemon grass: Put the lemon grass and milk in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Put the mixture in a small heavy saucepan and cook over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes, until the lemon grass flavor has been extracted. Refrigerate until use.
To make the tuiles: Combine the pectin and confectioner’s sugar. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the glucose. Stir in the water, then add the pectin-sugar mixture. Stir to blend well, then stir in the ginger. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a baking sheet or line with a silicone sheet. Very lightly oil the bottom of a small bowl or cup. Drop a heaping teaspoon of dough on the sheet and spread into a 3-inch circle with the back of the spoon. Repeat with remaining dough; you need at least 12 cookies. Bake 8 - 10 minutes, until the cookies have lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3 - 4 minutes; gently lift each cookie and place over the bowl or cup, pressing the cookie down to create a bowl shape. Let the cookie cool slightly, then remove and set aside to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies. If the cookies become stiff on the baking sheet, place them back in the oven for a few moments to warm them again so they can be shaped. Store the finished tuiles in a cool dry place.
To make the dotted sponge: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or buttered aluminum foil. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg whites until well blended. Gradually beat in the flour and mix to a smooth batter. Blend in the vanilla. Pour one fourth of the batter into another bowl and stir in the cocoa. Put the chocolate batter in a squeeze bottle. Make thin dots of chocolate batter randomly on the lined baking pan, making some of them quarter-sized and others smaller. Put the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until the design is set. Put the pan on a work surface. Using a clean spatula, quickly spread the white batter over the chocolate dots in a 1/8-inch-thick layer, taking care not to disturb the chocolate layer. Bake for 7 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly. Lay a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper over the top of the cake and, grasping the top and bottom layers of the paper, flip the cake over. Peel off the paper or foil to reveal the design. Let cool completely. Do not refreeze.
To make the lemon bisquit: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Sift the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar together. Stir in the lemon zest. In the deep bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until frothy. Continue beating, and slowly add the granulated sugar, beating until the egg whites stand in firm peaks. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Put the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe twelve 2-1/2-inch circles on the parchment. Bake until lightly browned, 8 - 10 minutes.
To make the mango gelees: Dissolve the gelatin powder in the cold water. Place half of the mango puree and all of the sugar into a heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and gently stir in the gelatin with a whisk. Continue stirring until the mixture has cooled slightly, then stir in the remaining puree and rum. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then pipe or spoon into twelve 1-inch (small) demi-sphere flexible molds and freeze until solid. Unmold and place back into the freezer until ready to use.
To make the mousse: Whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks. Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. Heat the milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Beat the egg yolks, lemon juice, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the gelatin. Beat a large spoonful of hot milk into the egg mixture, then slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot milk, stirring with a whisk to combine. Whisk in the zest. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the egg-milk mixture over it. Let stand for 1 minute, then gently stir together to blend. Place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and whisk until the mixture has cooled and just starts to congeal. Fold a large spoonful of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold the lightened chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, smoothing to blend.
Place twelve 2-1/2-inch ring molds on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Cut 12 pieces of waxed paper or flexible plastic into 3-inch-by-8-inch strips. Curl each strip around and place it into a ring mold so that it fits securely inside the mold. Trim the lemon bisquit into perfect circles with a sharp knife and press into the bottom of the molds. Cut 1-1/2-inch-by-7-inch strips of dotted sponge and press design-side-out around the inside of each mold, fitting the sponge against the bisquit base. Place the white chocolate mousse in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and fill each mold half way. Remove the frozen mango gelees from the mold and press one frozen gelee into the center of each mousse. Pipe in white chocolate mousse to cover the mango gelee and fill the molds to the top of the waxed paper or plastic collars. Smooth the tops with a knife or spatula and freeze for at least 3 hours.
To serve: Take the molds out of the freezer and let stand for 2 minutes. Put the puree in a squeeze bottle. Lift off the rings and unwrap the white chocolate mousse molds. Place a white chocolate mousse torte in the center of each serving plate. Top each with a Ginger Lace Tuile. Fill the tuiles with a strawberry, 1 raspberry, 3 blueberries, and 3 slices of mango. Dot the plate with mango puree. Divide the remaining fruit among the plates.