One Master Dessert-Two Sauces
Resolutions and Desserts
With the turn of a new year comes resolutions to eat healthy and light. So I thought to myself, why not apply that same concept to desserts but with a vanilla and chocolate concept. We could justify still getting to enjoy desserts however, in smaller and lighter versions. Yet, still satisfy that sweet tooth that comes calling.
When I think of vanilla and chocolate I think ice cream flavors, the black and white cookie, and those awesome black and white shakes.
Vanilla and Chocolate- Great Duo
I came up with this fun dessert I like to call vanilla and chocolate. The main component for the dessert is a white chocolate mousse, which I make with a fun baking tool that allows for individual servings.
This creamy mousse is paired with a classic creme anglaise sauce made two ways. Creme anglasie is basically a vanilla sauce consisting of milk, sugar, and eggs that can also be used for an ice cream base.
An easy twist on the sauce is making one the traditional vanilla while, using the same recipe with the simple addition of chocolate that turns into a silky milk chocolate version.
Special Tool-Ring Molds
Ring molds are a great find for your pastry tool box. You can find them just about anywhere online or in kitchen stores. There are practically endless possibilities to what you could use them for. They work perfectly for individual servings.
Here are some ideas that come to mind:
- Ice Creams
- Even plating savory dishes
When I worked in corporate catering, we would make hundreds of individual desserts with these. Most of the time, they were mousse-based desserts which make for a really beautiful presentation and plated dessert. Adding any sauce will make any dessert show stopping.
Components: Plated Dessert
For a classic plated dessert, you need a few components to make this a complete gem. Here are a few of them and how they were used in this dessert.
- Main Item- White Chocolate Mousse
- Sauce- Creme Anglaise
- Garnish-Whipped Cream, Cocoa Powder
- Crunch-Caramel Waffle Cookie
Putting It All Together
First I start off with the base which is a layer of yellow cake reserved from leveling off a prior cake that I had made. They make great bases for desserts using ring molds so I wrap them and freeze them to use for these. Any cake flavor works great.
You want to make sure whatever cake flavor you are using pairs well with your main item that you will be filling your molds with.
I place the ring molds on the cake and cut them out like a cookie cutter, then place them on a parchment lined sheet pan.
I then make the white chocolate mousse and fill them about 1/2 way with the mousse. Normally I would fill them all the way up but we are focusing on smaller portions for our positive New Year’s resolutions…..
You can use a spoon to fill them or placing the mousse in a piping back to fill. I give the whole pan a few taps on the counter to level before going in the freezer to firm up overnight.
No need to spray them with cooking spray, they will release from the molds.
You might be thinking how we are going to get these desserts out of their frozen molds…???? I have a great tip for you. It’s time to break out our “man-tool” of the kitchen torch and let it work its magic.
Unmolding the Mousse
I place the molds on a cake turntable. With the lighted torch just the table a slow turn while placing the lighted torch a few inches to the outside of the rings and keep it there for one full rotation. That should do the trick.
Releasing them comes super easy, you can either press gently down from the top of the mold and they slide right out of the bottom.
Or, you can gently press up lightly from the bottom to release them out of the top. Personally, I like the first way much better.
Careful attention to not to over-torch them where they are too warm as they are being removed as you can melt the mousse. You want them to still be frozen.
I make a simple and easy cream anglaise for the dessert to bathe in. This is a classic sauce and so incredibly delicious. I use some of my favorite french vanilla coffee creamer as a unique touch to get that awesome vanilla flavor.
Creme Anglaise- Makes about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup french vanilla liquid creamer
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- * For Chocolate version, add 2 TBS of chocolate chips and stir into mixture once removed from heat and mix till incorporated.
In a small saucepan, place the milk and creamer and bring to just where mixture is steaming, not boiling. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks with the sugar in a small bowl and mix well. Slowly add some of the hot milk mixture to the yolk mixture whisking constantly to temper the mixture. Add the yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk mixture and cook on medium till the mixture is slightly thickened and coat the back of the spoon. Do not allow to boil or it will cook the yolks.
Remove and strain into bowl or container. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
You can play around with the different flavors of coffee creamer to make this sauce with unique flavor combinations.
Decorating and Plating
I take a plate, pour some of the sauce onto the plate. I then place one of the dessert mousses on top. Then, I take some whipped cream in a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe dollops on top of each mousse. You can see below.
Vanilla Version: I place dots of caramel sauce on the anglaise around the mousse dessert. Then I take a toothpick and just drag it through each dot for a fancy presentation. Sprinkle the top with toasted coconut and place a small caramel waffle cookie on top to complete it with a nice crunch.
Chocolate Version: I place the chocolate creme anglaise on the plate, chocolate sauce dots on the anglaise around mousse and drag a toothpick all the way around the diameter of the dots. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and chocolate cookie crumbs, top with a caramel waffle cookie.
Which is your favorite…. vanilla or chocolate?
Check out my other posts on my Pastry 101 series: