This raspberry and white chocolate heart with raspberry gel and strawberry compote is a staple in the First Dates restaurant, coda eatery, at the gibson hotel. Many visitors to the restaurant are tempted by this beautiful and indulgent dessert.
Soft White Chocolate Sponge
– 112g ground almonds
– 112g icing sugar
– 112g egg yolk
– 256g egg white
– 40g unsalted butter
– 72g caster sugar
– 88g plain flour
– 32g cocoa powder
– 80g neutral glaze
– 352g white chocolate
– 38g eggs
– 30g egg yolk
– 74g caster sugar
– 10g gelatine
– 180g raspberry purée
– 215g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
– 150g of raspberry purée
– 50g of caster sugar
– 5g of ultratex
– 200g of white chocolate
– 60g of cocoa butter, raspberry
– 50g of cocoa butter
– 150g of strawberries
– 50g of icing sugar
– 100g of diced strawberries
Soft white chocolate sponge
1. To make the soft chocolate sponge, place the ground almonds and icing sugar into a food mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn on to a medium speed and gradually add the egg yolks and 48g of the whites, beating until light in colour and combined.
2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Place 208g of the egg whites into a clean food mixer bowl with a whisk attachment and whisk on a high speed. Make a stiff meringue with the egg whites, gradually adding in the caster sugar until combined.
3. Fold the flour and cocoa powder into the ground almond base and lastly, mix in the cold melted butter. Fold the meringue into the ground almond base to finish.
4. Preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 3. Line a baking tray measuring 60x40x1cm with silicone paper. Tip the sponge mix into the tray, spreading out evenly. Bake the sponge in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
5. Remove the sponge from the oven, allow to cool.
1. For the raspberry mousse, melt the chocolate in the microwave on a low heat, stirring every minute until melted.
2. Place the whole eggs and egg yolks into a food mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk on a slow speed.
3. Meanwhile, in a very clean saucepan, cook the sugar to 121°C. When the sugar reaches 105˚C, increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high. Once it reaches 121˚C, slowly pour the hot sugar over the whisking eggs and continue to whisk until they cool to around 40°C and are light and fluffy.
4. often the gelatine in cold water and warm the raspberry purée in a small saucepan until hot, but not boiling. Strain the water from the gelatine and dissolve in the hot purée. Allow the purée to cool slightly, then add to the egg mixture to make a pâté à bombe.
5. Lastly, fold in the semi-whipped cream and place directly into a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.
1. To make the raspberry sauce, add the raspberry purée to a pan and stir over a gentle heat until melted. Use a hand blender to mix in the caster sugar and ultratex, allow to cool and transfer to a piping bag.
1. To make the strawberry compote, add the strawberry purée to a container. Use a hand blender to mix in the icing sugar until very smooth. Add chopped fresh strawberries and transfer to a clean container.
1. To make the spray to finish the heart desserts, melt the white chocolate on a low wattage in a microwave.
2. Combine both the raspberry and regular cocoa butter in a bowl, melt in a microwave and combine the cocoa butter with the white chocolate. Pass through a fine strainer and load into a spray gun.
1. To assemble the dessert, place the heart shape silicone moulds onto a tray and lightly spray with vegetable cooking spray. Fill the mould 2/3 full with the raspberry mousse and tap the tray 3-4 times on the work surface to remove air bubbles.
2. Place 5g of chocolate sponge (pre-cut into the disk) into the centre of each mousse. Finally, push in the chocolate sponge discs into the moulds and flatten off any excess mousse with a pallet knife. Place into the freezer to set overnight.
3. Remove hearts from the freezer and turn out the moulds by gently pressing on top. Apply an even layer of the cocoa butter spray and allow to defrost before serving.
4. Carefully plate the hearts and add a small piping of the raspberry gel around it. Arrange some strawberry compote to the plate and top with a micro mint. Decorate the plate with some fresh raspberries and edible flowers and serve immediately.
Igor Cikarev is the executive head chef at the gibson hotel.
A Russian native from Riga, Igor got his start in the Latvian capital and has continued to grow his experience over the years.
Chef Igor also cooks for many of Ireland’s romance seekers on RTÉ’s popular TV show, First Dates, which is filmed at the gibson hotel in Dublin.
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