Quite possibly, this is the best dessert I have ever made! Certainly it was voted so at family dinner on Sunday night. It took a while to make, but the good news is that you can make each of the components separately and assemble them once you’re ready to eat – and you can pre-prepare and make this a couple of days before you need it – so it’s a great dinner party dish, that you could even prepare over a few days if necessary.
This recipe is from Darren Purchese, from Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne. I’ve never been, but I am going to have to get there one of these days.
I’d be lying if I said this was the easiest dish I’d ever made – in fact I had one aborted attempt at it a few months ago. Nothing went terribly wrong, but I must have used old cream which went to soft peaks in a matter of seconds, so once I added the caramelised white chocolate to it and mixed it in, it almost went to butter and sort of split. It still tasted amazing but it didn’t look so good. Hence, this attempt.
It’s not difficult as much as it can be time consuming, and making the mousse you need to watch, watch, watch that cream. I heard just the other night at a thermomix cooking class that the older the cream (that is, the closer it is to its’ use by date) the quicker it turns to butter.
What got me started on this recipe again was seeing passionfruit down at the greengrocers the other day. When I had been going to make it before, they were not available, so I had bought two small tins of the John West Passionfruit Pulp. I tried to find the passionfruit puree Dani mentions, but could only find it in large quantities – now I know this recipe is so good I’m tempted to buy it – but waste not, want not – I used the tinned pulp and scaled down the added sugar component in the curd recipe. It still tasted fantastic. My only criticism of it was that the seeds didn’t keep the lovely golden orange bits around them and ended up looking a little like mouse poo – hence why you don’t see them as a garnish in the photo.
Caramelised White Chocolate
The caramelised white chocolate is pretty easy – a bit of powdered milk and lots of white chocolate. I was momentarily thrown about how I would work out what the fat content was of the powdered milk, but somewhere in the back of my mind my mathematic skills returned and the easy way is to look for one that has about 3.5 grams of fat per 100 mls of milk. I used the Sunshine Full Cream Milk Powder and it was fine. It goes without saying – the better quality white chocolate you use, the better the result will be. I skimped a bit on this recipe, not because I’mm cheap, but because the supermarket had run out of the really good white chocolate. The result was still sublime, so I can only image how good it would taste if you used amazing chocolate as a base. I had a few hard lumps in my caramelised chocolate, but nothing that caused any issues.
I left my caramelised white chocolate to cool but not to go completely cold. Likewise, I don’t think I’d be adding it to the cream mixture if it was too hot – I think this might have played a part in my downfall last time. So be prepared to do the caramelised white chocolate and the subsequent mousse within a few hours of each other, or you could be courting disaster (well, maybe not disaster, but something that may not look so great).
Caramelised White Chocolate Mousse
When it comes to whipping the cream in the thermomix, remember less is more!! And do pay attention to the use by date on your cream – and watch it like a hawk. Even if it doesn’t look like it’s thickening up, it us – so stop the thermomix every little while and check on the progress of the cream. I really erred on the side of caution this time and took it very slowly – even slower than the speed 3 that was recommended. It took some extra time, but it was time I was willing to take as I didn’t want to repeat my previous mistake!
As I mentioned before, I had a bit of a cheat in this recipe and used (gasp!!) the John West Passionfruit Pulp. It worked perfectly, but make sure you reduce the sugar content in the curd component otherwise you’ll end up with it being far too sweet.
Even after reducing, mine was a lot more than 75 grams, so I have put the remainder in a zip lock bag in the freezer, as I know I’ll be going this again before too long. I think it should freeze ok.
This is almost like lemon butter, but it’s just passionfruit butter without the seeds. It tastes absolutely incredible. The fat in the butter means that the flavour stays in your mouth, and it’s such a beautiful flavour. I can imagine it would be fantastic too in between layers of sponge – yum!!
Be careful with the leaf gelatine and don’t let it soak too long in the cold water, and make sure the water is pretty cold, or the whole thing will disappear before your eyes. Three minutes was just about perfect for the leaf I used.
Once you pour the curd into a container and put it in the fridge, you let it cool for a few hours. It really sets quite firmly. Once it’s like this, the you put it back into the TM bowl with the butterfly in, and it whips it up to a beautiful light fluff and smooths it out completely. I bet you find yourself licking the butterfly!!
Our whiz bang coffee machine that grinds the beans for us was going to be the death of me – I couldn’t work out how to just get it to grind the beans, but not to make the coffee. Derrr – I just grabbed 10 grams of coffee beans, threw them in a clean TM bowl, and ground those bad boys up in a matter of seconds. Perfect!! All the other components of the crumb are really straightforward and the recipe makes a lot more than you’ll need for your desserts. It stores quite nicely in an airtight container, and is quite delicious sprinkled on ice cream.
I didn’t pipe the curd or the mousse into the glasses I served it in – but it still looked ok and of course tasted absolutely phenomenal!
So, in summary – one of the best – if not THE best dessert – I’ve ever made. Do give it a go!!