White Chocolate-Mango Mousse
Fresh fruit and featherweight mousse create beautiful little cakes circled with a band of mango petals. The chocolate garnish can be used on almost any dessert; the dark and light contrasting bands of chocolate are particularly pretty against the golden mango.
- Macadamia nuts - 1-1/2 cups (7 ounces), coarsely chopped
- Confectioners’ Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Cake flour - 2/3 cup, unsifted
- Whole Eggs - 4
- Egg Whites - 3
- Granulated Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons, melted
- White Chocolate - 2-1/2 ounces, chopped
- Mango puree - 1-1/4 cups
- Egg Whites - 2
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2-1/2 cups
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Granulated Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Plain gelatin - 1 envelope
- Cold Water - 1/4 cup
- Mangos - 4, cut from pit, and cut into thin slices
- Apricot jelly - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Mango puree - 1 tablespoon
- Strawberries - 8 fresh, hulled and cut into crosswise slices
- Fresh Blackberries - 24
- Chocolate Coils (recipe follows)
- Chocolate Coils (Makes 8 coils)
- White Chocolate - 2 ounces, chopped
- Milk Chocolate - 2 ounces, chopped
- Dark Bittersweet Chocolate - 2 ounces, chopped
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil. In a blender or food processor, grind the nuts and confectioners’ sugar to a fine powder. Combine with the cake flour into a large bowl and sift. Regrind and resift particles that do not go through the sifter. Add the whole eggs, beating until the batter is thoroughly blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Stir a large spoonful of meringue into the batter to lighten it, then fold the remaining meringue into the batter. Stir a large spoonful of batter into the melted butter, then pour the butter into the batter and blend. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until just set. Let cool.
To make the mousse: Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Strain the chocolate through a fine-meshed sieve and return it to the double boiler to keep warm. Put one half of the mango puree in a medium bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to firm peaks. Cover and refrigerate. In a deep bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate.
In a medium bowl over hot water, beat the egg yolks and the 1/3 cup sugar together until foamy. Place the egg mixture in a mixer and set to beat at medium speed.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let set for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the other half of the mango puree. Do not overheat; it should be just tepid. Stir in the gelatin mixture and whisk gently until completely dissolved. Stir in the melted chocolate until smooth. Pour into the cold mango puree and stir to blend the warm and cool mixtures; you want to cool the puree to add the remaining ingredients, but not so much that it sets up in the bowl.
When the mixture is cooled and starting to thicken, remove the egg mixture from the mixer; it should be pale yellow in color and thick enough that a slowly dissolving ribbon forms when some of it is dribbled on the surface. Stir a large spoonful of the mango mixture into the egg mixture, blending well. Pour the egg mixture into the mango mixture and whisk gently to blend. Stir a large spoonful of the meringue into the mixture, then gently fold the meringue into the lightened mixture. Stir a large spoonful of whipped cream into the mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
To assemble: Using eight 4-inch ring molds, cut cake circles and leave them in the bottoms of the molds. Reserve 24 mango slices. Line the inside walls of the molds with a ring of overlapping mango slices, slipping the last slice under the first to complete the circle. Ladle the mousse into the mango-lined molds. Level off with the back of a knife.
In a small pan over medium heat, slightly warm the jelly and add the puree. Stir to blend. Remove the molds from the refrigerator and cover the top of each with the jelly glaze. Place the molds on a baking sheet and refrigerate until the glaze sets.
To serve: Fan 3 of the reserved mango slices on each dessert plate. Add a ring of overlapping strawberry slices and the blackberries. To remove the molds, lift each mold from the baking sheet with a wide metal spatula. With a thin-bladed knife, cut around the mold between the mousse and the mold to loosen. Using your fingers, set the mold on an inverted glass or other flat-bottomed object that is slightly smaller than the ring mold and press the mold down gently. Carefully lift the entire mousse assembly and place it on a plate next to the mango slices. Place the ganache in a squeeze bottle or pastry bag fitted with a very small tip and pipe a spiral around one side of the dish. Repeat for all the molds. Garnish each mousse with a chocolate coil.
You will need a styrofoam block about 15 inches square, push pins, and eight 9-by-2-inch heavy flexible plastic strips. Pin one end of each strip to the foam. Separately melt each chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Put each chocolate in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze stripes of the chocolates lengthwise over the plastic strips, letting them overlap in places. Spread the chocolate out slightly to slightly less than a 1/8-inch thickness with a long thin spatula. When the chocolate has cooled slightly but is still pliable, twist the strip of plastic with the chocolate into a spiral shape and pin the other end of the strip to the foam to keep the coil in place. Repeat to make 8 coils. Refrigerate until ready to use. When ready, unpin the strips and gently peel away the plastic, leaving the chocolate coils.