Clementine Chocolate Parfait Recipe
I made clementine mousse using fruits from our garden. The zest is amazingly fragrant. The exterior has such a deep orange color, I thought it would be perfect dressed as a parfait paired with French chocolate cookies we bought in Normandy.
My husband Lulu and I brought a lot of delicious French food back home from our recent trip to Europe. The cookies in the dish are called "La Mère Poulard" chocolatine cookies. They are specialty cookies from the Mont Saint Michel region of France. My parents took us there on New Year's Day. It's a rocky tidal island located in Normandy, topped with beautiful shops and a church. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While we were there, we had the region’s typical crêpes and of course brought back a few packs of cookies. If you’re in France and you have time, I recommend taking a visit.
Yields: 12 dessert cups3/4 cup clementine juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons clementine zest
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (3.5-ounce) package chocolatine cookies (or any chocolate cookies)
4 tablespoons orange chocolate shavings (see tips), optional
Making clementine mousse:
Place the clementine juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer for a bit less than 5 minutes. The liquid should reduce to about ½ cup of juice. Remove from the heat.
In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, using an electric handheld mixer, whisk the eggs with 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar until the texture thickens. Make a "double boiler" (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place the bowl filled with whisked eggs on top). Slowly pour in the juice so that the eggs don't curdle and continue whisking the eggs at full speed for about 3-4 minutes. Check the temperature of the eggs; they should feel warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler, add the clementine zest, salt and softened butter. Continue whisking at full speed for about 5 minutes. Make sure the eggs are whisked for a long time, so the mousse is light and airy. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl to remove any solids (zest and pulp). Let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Whip the cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Do not over-beat or the texture will become grainy.
Pour 1/3 of the whipped cream into the clementine custard. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Pour in the rest of the whipped cream; gently fold the cream into the custard to get an airy mousse.
Using a sharp knife, coarsely chop the chocolatines. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of large cookie pieces for garnish.
Transfer to the mousse to a piping bag.
Pipe the mousse to fill dessert cups about half way. Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate cookies.
Pipe or spoon the rest of the mousse over the chocolate cookies. Level the filling with a spatula if necessary (I didn't).
Plastic-wrap each individual cup and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The fat from the cream may pick up some other food odor from the refrigerator if the cups are not sealed properly.
When you're ready to serve, unwrap the cups and top with the reserved chocolatines and chocolate shavings. Garnish with thin slices of clementine and dust with a little powdered sugar (using a fine mesh strainer) if you like.
Clementines are extremely juicy. I boiled the juice and reduced it to make the flavor more intense. You could skip this step but I think it adds more depth to the dessert.
I find that citrus and chocolate pair incredibly well together; you can create your own twist to the mousse by mixing any sweet or acidic fruit juice such as lime, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, pomegranate, pineapple or raspberry. Let your imagination run wild!
I prefer using powdered sugar. It's very fine and dissolves more quickly than regular granulated sugar.
I usually add a little salt to most desserts. Salt brings out the flavors and will enhance the taste of your sweets.
For garnish and more crunch, I sprinkled candied almond orange chocolate shavings. Creating chocolate curls is very easy; just shave a large piece of chocolate using a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife.
More photos from Mont Saint Michel:
Published By: on January 26, 2011.
That's me in the parka. Do I look like a Michelin man?