There are two kinds of lilikoi (passion fruit), a light yellow variety and the more intensely colored Tangier variety. In this dessert the light variety is used for the custard and the ganache, and the Tangier variety is used for the garnish. You may, of course, use only one variety in the dessert; it will still taste wonderful.
- Lilikoi Custard
- Eggs - 6
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Lilikoi Puree - ¾ cup
- Orange Zest - grated zest of 1 orange
- Unsalted Butter - ½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon
- Plain gelatin - 1 envelope
- Cold Water - ¼ cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - ¾ cup
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Bittersweet Chocolate Cake
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 6 ounces, chopped
- Unsweetened Chocolate - 4 ounces, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks), cut up
- Whole Eggs - 5
- Egg Yolks - 4
- Sugar - ½ cup
- All-Purpose Flour - ¾ cup, unbleached
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 6 ounces, chopped
- Lilikoi Ganache
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 12 ounces, chopped
- Milk Chocolate - 9 ounces, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 6 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Sugar - ¾ cup
- Lilikoi Puree - 2/3 cup
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - for dusting
- Tangier lilikoi juice and seeds - 1 cup
- Lilikoi - 4, halved lengthwise
- Lilikoi Leaves - 24
To make the custard: In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, stir together the eggs and sugar and let warm to 100•F. In a heavy saucepan, bring the lilikoi puree, zest, and butter to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a bowl and let sit for 3 minutes. Add a large spoonful of the hot puree to the egg mixture and blend, then whisk the egg mixture into the hot puree. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin, stirring until it is completely dissolved. Set the pan in a bowl of ice water and stir until cold. In a deep bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, adding the sugar gradually as you beat. Fold the custard into the whipped cream, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350•F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolates and butter, and bring the temperature of the mixture to 100•F. Stir to blend. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until foamy, about 2 minutes. Stir the warm chocolate into the egg mixture, then stir in the flour. Pour into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to fill the pan evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just firm; do not overbake. Let cool to the touch; remove from the pan, and let cool completely. Using a 2-1/2-inch diameter cookie cutter or a glass, cut eight circles from the cake. Cut the remaining cake into ½-inch dice.
To make the chocolate cups: In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate. Brush eight 2-1/2-inch half-sphere molds with the chocolate to form a thin shell and put in the freezer to set.
To make the ganache: In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolates together. In a heavy saucepan, stir the cream, butter, sugar, and lilikoi puree together and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually add the hot cream mixture to the melted chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth and shiny. Remove the pan from heat and let cool until slightly firm.
To assemble: Line a jelly roll pan with parchment or waxed paper and set a wire rack on top. Fold the diced cake into the custard. Fill the chocolate cup molds with the custard mixture. Place the cake circles over the custard mixture, sealing the chocolate cups. Unmold the chocolate cups, warming the molds slightly with a warm towel to loosen the chocolate, and invert onto the wire rack. With a small spatula or flat knife, spread the ganache over the cups to coat. Allow to set slightly, then touch a spatula or the back of a spoon to the ganache and pull it away, leaving a tiny lifted curl of ganache. Repeat randomly all over each truffle to make each look prickly. Place in the refrigerator to set, about 15 minutes.
To serve: With a metal spatula, lift the truffles and place one on each dessert plate. Dust lightly with cocoa powder. Spoon 2 tablespoons of lilikoi juice with seeds around each truffle. Place 1 lilikoi half on each plate and garnish with 3 leaves.