Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chocolate with Francois-Chocolate Dacquoises with Lavender and Peaches and Chocolate Chiboust

I'm pleading temporary insanity for choosing this recipe for my Chocolate with Francois Group !! My over achieving evil twin possessed me in a moment of weakness as I was leafing through the book Chocolate Epiphany and picked a recipe that has more ingredients than most cookbooks ! Try saying the recipe name 5 times fast-it's exhausting !  But it sounded so lovely and I had visions of summer peaches and freshly picked lavender-my senses were overloaded with beautiful images and aromas.  It was sensory overload.. so to get my group started here it is:

Chocolate Dacquoises with Lavender and Peaches and Chocolate Chiboust

You know you are in trouble when you have to Google the recipe name to figure out what you are making !  Seriously, I love to bake and create things I've never done before so here we go with the August recipe.
If you have never made a dacquoise here are some Images of dacquoises to give you an idea of what your finished product should or could look like.  And the same goes for the Chocolate Chiboust-hear are some Images for Chiboust to compare to your finished dessert.  And perfect timing, one of my favorite chefs, Chef Eddy Van Damme created a beautiful chocolate chiboust this month, go to his blog to check it out.  It's a work of art !
I've gathered the lavender from my garden; purchased my favorite Frog Hollow Farm peaches and now I'm setting up my mise en place.  Also , based on my experience with Chef Francois Payard's recipes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will not be the dacquoise or chiboust that ate Seattle !

Youtube video on making a chocolate chiboust

Chocolate Dacquoise
3/4 cup (75 grams) almond flour or finely ground blanched almonds
1/2 cup (65 grams) confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons (15grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
5 large egg whites

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the dimensions of your baking sheet With a pencil or pen trace eight 3 1/2 inch circles on the parchment.  Place the paper on the baking sheet, circles facing down so that you don't get any ink or lead on your dacquoise.

Sift the almond flour,confectioners' sugar,cocoa powder together over a bowl or piece of wax paper.  Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and whip on medium speed until the egg whites start to gain volume.  Add the granulated sugar to the eggs a little at a time, and continue whipping until the eggs hold stiff peaks.  With a spatula, gently fold in the almond flour, confectioner's sugar, and cocoa powder.  Be careful not to over mix, as you want the eggs to retain as much volume as possible.

Fit the pastry bag with  1/4 inch round pastry tip and then fill the bag with the meringue.  Using the drawn circles as your guide, start from the center of the circle and pipe the meringue in a spiral pattern to make a disk.  There should be no gap between the concentric lines of the spiral.   On top of the outside edge of each disk, pipe 1/4 inch balls of meringue, to create a meringue border.  This ensures that the peaches will be cradled when the dessert is assembled. For some reason I chose not to pipe the little meringue balls next to each other and left some spacing-again temporary insanity on my part !

Place the baking sheet in the oven, and immediately turn it off.  Leave the dacquoise in the over for 1 to 2 hours, checking occasionally until they are dried and crisp.  Really watch this,with the weather in Seattle I had to turn the oven back on and bake them for about 10-12 minutes, then I turned the oven off and let them set in the oven for another 2 hours until they were crisp.  When they are finished turn the parchment paper over and carefully pull it to remove the dacquoises.  Store them in an airtight container , up to 2 days.

Chocolate Chiboust
3 tablespoons (45 grams) cold water
1 tablespoon (1 envelope, 5 grams) unflavored gelatin
1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
1 1/2 ounces (45 grams) 100% chocolate, chopped
4 large egg yolks
4 teaspoons  (10grams) cornstarch
6 tablespoons ( 80 grams) sugar
2 large egg whites

Make the chiboust
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (see my notes below for how I froze my chiboust)
Pour the cold water in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let stand for 3 minutes.
Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from the heat, and stir in the chocolate until completely melted.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks and the cornstarch until the mixture turns a pale yellow.  Slowly pour a third  of the milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep the yolks from curdling.  Once the milk is well incorporated, return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat, and cook,whisking constantly, until it becomes very thick and bubbles start popping from the center of the pan, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed against the pastry cream .

With a candy thermometer close by, place the sugar and 2 tablespoons ( 30 grams) water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until the mixture reaches 242F on the candy thermometer-keep an eye on this and when it gets to 235 you need to start whipping your egg whites. If the sugar sticks to the sides of the pot, dip a pastry brush in water and brush the sides down.  You may need to tilt the pan to get an accurate temperature reading.

While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  When the sugar reaches 235 F on the candy thermometer, start whipping the whites on high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches 242 F, then with the mixer running, pour it into the egg whites in a slow stream,down the inside of the bowl.  Continue beating until the meringue is thick and the bottom of the bowl is cool to touch-about 5-8 minutes.

Fold the meringue into the pastry cream.   Pour the mixture in a 1/2 thick layer in the prepared baking sheet and place it in the freezer to set , about 1 hour-or see the notes below.
If you have frozen your chiboust in the 1/2 thick layer then cut it into eight 3 inch circles either using a knife or a 3 inch round cookie cutter.  Leave them in the freezer until ready to use or for up to 3 months tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

Notes for freezing chiboust
His recipe calls for pouring, spreading and freezing the chiboust in a baking pan in the freezer.  I thought I would be wasting too much chiboust that way and my freezer compartment would never take a regular size baking pan.  So instead I took my 3 inch pastry rings and filled them with the chiboust.  I used the #30 ice cream scoop and it took about 2 1/2 of them to get the chiboust to the depth called for.  The chiboust is firm enough to hold it's shape so that once the pastry rings were filled I gently removed them before freezing-and voile no waste and frozen chiboust !

Poached Peaches
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
2 sprigs fresh or dried lavender
1 vanilla bean, split or 2 tablespoons ( 30 grams) pure vanilla extract
6 peaches, peeled and halved

Make the peaches
Combine the lemon juice, zest,sugar, and lavender with 1 quart (1 liter) water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, and add the pod if using.  Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the peaches and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes, until the peaches are tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove from the heat, and if using the vanilla extract, add it now.  Let the peaches cool in their liquid, still covered. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Assemble the dessert -Finally !
Pull a few pieces of lavender off the stems (more or less depending on your taste for lavender). Cut the peaches in chunks about 1/4 inch large, and mix them with the lavender. 
Remove the chiboust disks from the freezer.
Place a dacquoise in the center of each of eight plates.  Spoon some peaches in the center cavity of each dacquoise.  Cover with a chiboust disk. If desired sprinkle an even layer of granulated sugar over the top of the chiboust,and carmelize it with a blowtorch.  Drizzle chocolate around the plate and voila !


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is a very ambitious project but well worth the effort Sandy!!

Leslie said...

Incredibly beautiful! I'm sorry I didn't have time to bake along with you this month, it would have been a fun recipe (no, really!)

Chef Dennis Littley said...

wow, what an incredible dessert!! You certainly outdid yourself with this one......I can only imagine how good it tasted all that chocolate with those lovely peaches! and the lavender was such a nice tough!

astheroshe said...

That looks really good! I am now officially behind on 2 posts!

Joseph's Grainery Recipes said...

Even though I'm still feeling like a glutten after the weekend of wonderful food we had, these look absolutely delicious and my mouth is now watering. It was wonderful meeting you at IFBC!

Joanne said...

You did a wonderful job with these. I was a bit afraid of using lavender after watching cupcake wars and hearing that it can taste like soap if too much is added.
This recipe was a good pick.

Elizabeth Howes said...

Looks gorgeous, Sandy. So great to meet you at IFBC this year!

Peggy said...

Sandy we have a new grandbaby that came last week and I have been out of town so I did not get to cook this with you and I am sorry! It looks fantastic. You did a great job.

Julie said...

Okay I am officially a terrible leader of CWF, not only did I not make these, I am just getting around to commenting. These look amazing. Fabulous job.