Hazelnut Mousse with Caramelized Hazelnuts


Caramel and nuts (along with warm spices) are the flavours of fall and winter to me. Warm, comforting, earthy, and cozy flavours that evoke thoughts of thick sweaters, scarves, and steaming mugs of tea. The berries that packed a punch of flavour and brightness have come and gone with the warm, sunny days and nuts, caramel, apples, pears, and chocolate take a front seat to comfort you on a rainy afternoon. Hazelnuts appear fairly often on the blog in the colder months because they're one of my favourite flavours, no chocolate needed.





I've said it before many times, but I'm a winter girl. Summer is nice, but I am much happier wearing sweaters and scarves and drinking multiple mugs of tea in a day. I don't mind the rain at all (I grew up here in Vancouver - or Raincouver as we affectionately call it) and while the dark can be kind of gloomy, it makes it easier to go to bed at 7pm and wake up at 4am for work.



Another pro to the colder months is that you can turn the oven on without feeling like your kitchen has become one of the seven circles of hell. In fact, you'll most likely want to turn on your oven so you can have that comforting warmth and aroma of whatever it is you're cooking. A huge reason as to why I make my own hot apple cider is so that my apartment can smell like apples and warm spices for a day. Sometimes I open the door of my balcony so my apartment can be cold enough for me to warrant 5 hours of oven time (i.e. making a stew or baking bread).


While this recipe doesn't call for too much oven time, it does give back with the wonderful smell of roasting hazelnuts. You'll be hanging around the stove while you stir the caramelizing hazelnuts but once again, it'll be worth it for the smell. A bit of patience is required for the mousse to set, but all that waiting and stirring and roasting will be rewarded with a celebration of hazelnuts and caramel that will make you wonder why hazelnut butter isn't the new peanut butter.


Hazelnut Mousse with Caramelized Hazelnuts

Caramelized Hazelnuts

375 g hazelnuts
140 g granulated sugar
45 g water

Praline Paste

100 g caramelized hazelnuts


Hazelnut Mousse

161 g heavy cream
161 g whole milk
60 g praline paste
101 g yolks
30 g sugar
3 g gelatin sheets
322 g heavy cream


First, make the caramelized hazelnuts. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the hazelnut on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The hazelnuts need to be warm and de-skinned when they are added to the caramel.

While the hazelnuts are roasting, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and cook the syrup to 116 C. Add the warm hazelnuts now and stir to coat them evenly. Continue cooking the hazelnuts and syrup until they are a deep amber colour and no sandy white bits remain. Spread onto a silpat lined baking sheet to cool completely. Roughly chop around 150 g of hazelnuts into pieces the size of sunflower seeds. Reserve in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

For the praline paste, put 100 g of caramelized hazelnut in a small food processor or vitamix. Blend until a smooth and liquidy paste forms, about 8 to 12 minutes.

For the mousse, combine the yolks and sugar in a small bowl and whisk until slightly paler in colour. Place the gelatin sheets in ice water to soften.

Place the cream, milk, and praline paste in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, and stir to disperse the praline paste. When the milk is just below a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and, whisking constantly, pour it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and place over medium heat. Stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 1 minute, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent the mixture from curdling. It should be very thick. 

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and add to the custard. Cool down to 24 C.

While the custard is cooling, whip the 322 g of cream to medium peaks. Reserve in the fridge until the custard is the right temperature.

When the custard had reached 24 C, gently fold in one-third of the cream into the custard. Fold in the remaining cream. 

Pour the custard into your desired glasses to the halfway point, then add a layer of chopped hazelnuts. Fill the glasses with more mousse. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

To serve, garnish with whole and chopped caramelized hazelnuts.

Mascarpone, Rhubarb, and Vanilla Bean Verrine with Oat Streusel


This is a super great dessert for spring and summer dinner parties, for many reasons - minimal oven time, simple, fresh, and perfect to make ahead. Not that I would know anything about dinner parties because I don't even have a dining table in order to have people over for dinner, but I can imagine. Or, even better, for a picnic! Instead of glasses, make them in jars and keep them in the cooler and the streusel in a separate container. Once again, not that I would know because I don't have a cooler. 


I'm not usually the kind of person to mash everything up on my plate and eat it all together. Nope, I like to eat things most separately. It's not like the potatoes can't ever touch the broccoli, but I prefer to eat one and then the other. Not mixing and mashing, thanks. If it was meant to be eaten together, they'd be together.

Anyways, as you can plainly see, I mashed this thing up real good. And no, not just for photos. I actually finished getting the shots I wanted (so I thought) of the dessert looking all nice and neat. I sat down on my floor next to my tripod and tucked into one of the glasses. I found that I couldn't get the perfect bite that included a bit of everything, so I just stirred it all up. 

Who cares what it looks like now, I'm done with the photos, so whatever.


After a few (perfect) bites that included all components, I set the glass down on the table to answer a text from my phone in the kitchen. I returned and looked at the glass. The rhubarb compote looked like dye diffusing into water, bright red against the stark white of the mascarpone cream. Flecks of oat streusel interspersed it all. It looked like a little nebula of delicious fruit and cream. And another half hour of taking photos ensued. 

The photo above is the glass exactly how I left it mid-bite, no styling. It figures that when I try, it looks okay, but when I'm sitting on my ass on the floor, I create something really beautiful. Figures, hey?




Mascarpone, Rhubarb, and Vanilla Bean Verrine with Oat Streusel

Rhubarb Compote

400 g rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 vanilla bean
100 g granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Mascarpone Cream

100 g mascarpone, at room temperature
200 g heavy cream
5 g vanilla paste

Rhubarb Compote
barb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 vanilla bean
100 g granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Oat Streusel
Recipe from The Modern Café

160 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160 g granulated sugar
160 g pastry flour
112 g old-fashioned (rolled) oats
2 g salt
3 g ground cinnamon
3 g vanilla powder


Place 5 to 7 glasses in the fridge to chill while you make the components.

For the rhubarb compote, place the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the pot, along with the pod. Stirring often, cook the compote until the juices release and start to bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer for a 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Transfer the compote to a airtight container.

For the mascarpone cream, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and add one-third of the heavy cream, stirring until the mascarpone has loosened. Fold in the remaining cream. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a circular tip and pipe the cream halfway up into your prepared glasses. Reserve the remaining cream in the piping bag.

Spoon the compote into the glasses on top of the mascarpone. Carefully pipe the remaining mascarpone cream on top, reaching almost to the top of the glass.

Chill until set, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the streusel. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Combine the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until everything is combined. 

Add the pastry flour and pulse the mixer until all the flour has been incorporated. Add the oats, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla powder, and pulse until just combined.

Rub the streusel through a wire rack to obtain evenly sized morsels of streusel. 

Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Break up any large pieces and transfer everything to an airtight container. You will have extra streusel leftover, but it is great sprinkled over ice cream or mixed into yogurt.

When you are ready to serve the verrines, garnish with a generous amount of streusel and dust with icing sugar.







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Strawberry Cream Puffs


There's a farmers market that happens every Saturday right near my apartment. It's one of my favourite things about summer - fresh veggies and fruit, local honey, homemade breads, all kinds of stuff! It's a great little market and always has awesome fresh produce. But I work on Saturdays now and I usually get off around 2 or 3pm. The market closes at 3pm and everything is usually cleaned out long before then. So you can imagine how excited I was when I went to the farmers market at 3:05 pm and there were still a few punnets of strawberries left!!



I almost couldn't believe my luck and bought two punnets before anyone told me the market was closed. Looking back, I should've bought four because as soon as I got home, I ate some with some vanilla chantilly. Then I started brainstorming ideas for the most strawberry-y thing I could. I wanted something light and airy but also packed with strawberry flavour and maybe a bit of cream in there too. There needed to be a bit of crunch for texture to offset the soft and airy part. So, of course, cream puffs came to mind!


The great thing about the compote and the mousse is that is really lets the strawberries shine, so you have to make sure your strawberries are the best possible. I don't even think it would be tasty with the strawberries that are white on the inside and watery and sour… This really is a recipe for those local, juicy, super flavour-packed strawberries that you only get when they're in season in your area. I know it's a pain to wait a whole year for strawberries to come into season, but trust me, they're worth it.




Strawberry Cream Puffs

Pâte Sucrée Dough

150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
95 g icing sugar
30 g almond flour
1 g salt
1/2 vanilla bean
50 g eggs
250 g all-purpose flour

15 g pearl sugar

Pâte à Choux

125 g water
125 g whole milk
5 g superfine sugar
5 g fleur de sel
110 g unsalted butter
140 g all-purpose flour
250 g eggs

Strawberry Mousse

250 g strawberries
20 g sugar

200 g strawberry puree
2 gelatin sheets
200 g heavy cream

Strawberry Compote

200 g strawberries, halved
50 g sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 lemon

Créme Chantilly

150 g heavy cream
1 g vanilla paste
15 g icing sugar


To garnish 

Strawberry powder
Strawberries


Prepare the pâte sucrée. In a food processor fitted with the dough blade, process the butter until creamy. Sift in the icing sugar, then add the almond flour and salt. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add the eggs. Sift in the flour and process just until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Remove the tart dough and roll it out to a thickness of less than 1/16 inch (1 mm). Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.

Prepare the choux paste. In a saucepan, bring the water, milk, sugar, salt, and butter to a boy. With the saucepan still over the heat, add the flour all at once. Beat hard with a wooden spoon until the paste is smooth and shiny and continue being until the paste comes away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the paste to a bowl and incorporate the eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Transfer the finished paste to a piping bag fitted with a plain #14 pastry tip.

After 20 minutes in the freezer, remove the tart dough and cut out twelve to fourteen 2 1/2 inch (7 cm) rounds. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe out 12 to 14 choux balls about 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter and 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) tall, arranging them on the lined baking sheet about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. (Note: I use a 1 inch diameter demi sphere mold for my choux, freeze, then unmold onto the baking sheet). On each choux, place a disc of sweet tart dough and sprinkle with a bit of pearl sugar. Place them in the oven and turn the oven off. Keep the oven off for ten minutes. Turn the oven back on to 350 F and continue baking the choux. After ten minutes, slide a wooden cooking spoon between the oven and its door to keep it partly open. Bake for another ten minutes. Transfer the choux to a wire rack to cool.

Make the strawberry puree. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until the strawberries are tender. Remove from heat. Let it cool slightly before pureeing it with a blender or immersion blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

For the mousse, measure out 200 g of the strawberry puree (you should have extra, use it for drinks or a sauce!) into a saucepan set over medium-low heat. 

Meanwhile, soften the gelatin sheets in ice water.

When the puree is hot to the touch, but not boiling, remove from heat and add the gelatin. Stir to make sure it has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl set over an ice bath to cool.

Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks.

Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the cooled puree, then gently fold in another one-third, then the remaining one-third. 

Fit a piping bag with a round tip. Twist the tip and press the twisted portion of the piping bag inside of the tip, ensuring the mousse will not leak out. Transfer the mousse to the piping bag and place it in a container that will keep the piping bag upright. Use a clip to seal the open end of the piping bag. Chill the mousse until firm, at least 1 hour. 

For the strawberry compote, combine the strawberries and sugar in a saucepan set over medium heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the saucepan, along with the pod. Zest and juice the lemon into the saucepan. 

Bring to a simmer, stirring often, and cook until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Remove the vanilla bean. Using a food processor, give the compote a few pulses just to create a chunky compote, not a purée. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small circular tip.

For the chantilly, place the cream, vanilla paste, and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk until stiff peaks form and transfer to a piping bag fitting with a star tip. Reserve in the fridge.

To assemble, use a small piping tip to make a hole in the bottom of each puff. Stick a toothpick inside the hole and move it around to make sure the inside of the puff is empty. Repeat with all the puffs and place them upside down on a baking sheet.

Pipe a small amount of strawberry compote into each puff, shaking it to make sure the compote reaches the bottom. Pipe the strawberry mousse into each puff and place it right side up.

Pipe the chantilly on the top of puff, dust with strawberry powder, and garnish with a quarter or half strawberry.



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Raspberry and Vanilla Bean Mousse Cake


Do you ever think of an idea for a dish, maybe one that's a little more complex than your usual so you're kind of worried about messing it up big time, but then you totally pull it off and it's exactly what you imagined?!

I did that.


Not to toot my own horn too much, but this cake is my newfound pride and joy. I came up with the idea of a raspberry and vanilla mousse cake a few weeks ago, but it was just a vague idea. Over the course of a week, I finalized what I wanted the components to be and how I wanted to decorate it. I searched my many many books for recipes that I wanted, tweaked some to fit my needs, and just went for it!


First try was a total fail. The gelée didn't have enough gelatine in it so it was too liquidy when it thawed, which meant that the whole structure of the mousse cake was off. You cut into it and then bleeeuuurrrghh - out comes the gelée kind of like blood, which was creepy. And then it's all over the plate and you're just left with diplomat cream that had too much gelatine and the whole thing is just not working.

So, I rethought the recipes and tweaked them over the course of the next week, and tried again the next weekend. If this didn't turn out, I was probably going to abandon the idea because I get kinda spiteful when it comes to failed desserts.

But then it turned out perfectly! Like, exactly perfectly! Perfect texture, perfect taste, perfect contrast, perfect look! I can't remember a time when I nailed it this good


This might just be my ideal mousse cake. I love mousse and custards (I think most of the posts on this blog contain mousse and/or custard), so to say this is my favourite is big. The sweet creaminess of the light vanilla diplomat cream is the perfect foil for the tart and flavourful gelée (that is not like jell-o, I promise). A bit of crunch from the sablé and then another hit of raspberry from the spongey but intensely raspberry-y cake.

I want everyone to make this cake. Heck, I want to make this cake again just so I can eat it again. I want someone to have a party so I can make this cake in a big version, but everyone else is health conscious so I eat the majority of it. I want to stare at these photos all day and bask in the feeling of "Man, I nailed that". I want to carry photos of this cake in my wallet and when people proudly show me photos of their kids, I can pull out my photos and say, "Yeah, but look what I made." 

Too much? Naaah.



Raspberry and Vanilla Bean Mousse Cake

Raspberry Cake
Recipe adapted from The Modern Cafe

89 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
79 g eggs
202 g raspberry purée, at room temperature
198 g granulated sugar
180 g all-purpose flour
8 g baking powder
1.5 g vanilla powder

Raspberry Gelée

200 g raspberry purée
25 g icing sugar
5 g gelatin sheets

Sablé 
Recipe adapted from Elements of Dessert

73 g all-purpose flour
175 g cake flour
120 g butter, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean
2 g salt
90 g icing sugar
18 g almond flour
50 g eggs

Pastry Cream
Recipe adapted from The Modern Cafe

216 g whole milk
52 g granulated sugar
1 g salt
1 vanilla bean
50 g egg yolks
20 g cornstarch
20 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Diplomat Cream

300 g pastry cream
300 g heavy cream, whipped to medium peaks
5 g gelatin sheets

Crisp Meringue
Recipe adapted from Frozen Desserts

75 g egg whites
75 g granulated sugar
75 g icing sugar

To finish

White cocoa butter spray
Raspberries
Neutral cold glaze


First, line four 3-inch rings with acetate and place on a silpat lined baking sheet. 

To start, make the raspberry cake. Place a silpat on a half sheet pan and spray the border with non-stick oil spray. Preheat the oven to 320 F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and vanilla powder in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale and creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar, beating until combined. Then add the eggs, beating until combined. Slowly add the raspberry purée, scraping down the bowl halfway through.

Fold in the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the sheet pan and use an offset spatula to spread the batter in an even layer.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cake springs back in the middle when you apply gentle pressure with your fingertips. Remove the cake from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Cut out 3 inch circles from the raspberry cake and place them inside the rings.

For the raspberry gelée, place four 2.75 inch rings on a silpat lined baking sheet. 

Combine the raspberry purée and icing sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bloom the gelatine sheets in ice water to soften.

Once the gelée is hot but not boiling, remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the purée, whisking to dissolve. Pour 50 g of gelée into each ring. Place in the freezer and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

Once completely frozen, remove from the rings and reserve in the freezer.

For the sablé, sift the all-purpose and cake flour together.

Cream the butter, salt, icing sugar, and almond flour together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer, add the eggs and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flours, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll the dough out to a rectangle 3mm thick, then chill again until slightly firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut out four 3-inch circles and place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Wrap the leftover dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze to use at another time.

Bake the sable for 12 to 15 minutes, until there is only a slight bit of golden brown on the underside of the sablé. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Place the sablé on top of the raspberry cake in the rings.

For the pastry cream, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisk until slightly paler in colour.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to a medium saucepan along with the milk.

When the milk mixture has come to a boil, slowly pour a small amount into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue tempering the yolks with the milk mixture, then transfer all of back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook for another minute, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in the butter.

Set the pastry cream over an ice bath to cool. Once it has reached room temperature, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the crisp meringue, preheat the oven to 200 F. 

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium-high speed until the egg whites are frothy. Slowly stream in the granulated sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Fold in the icing sugar.

Spread the meringue on a silpat in a thin even layer using an offset spatula. Bake the meringue until crisp, about 1 hour. Do not let the meringue bake too long or it will colour and no longer be white.

Remove from the oven and cool completely, then break into irregular shards. 

For the diplomat cream, bloom the gelatine in ice water to soften. Place a 50 g of the pastry cream in a bowl set over a bowl of simmering water and stir often. Once it has reached 60 C, squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the pastry cream, whisking to dissolve. Remove from the water bath and quickly fold into the remaining pastry cream.

Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the pastry cream. Fold in the remaining two-thirds and transfer to a piping bag. 

Pipe the molds halfway up with diplomat cream. Place the frozen raspberry gelée disk on top, pressing gently in so the surface of the gelée is flush with the diplomat cream. Pipe diplomat cream to fill the ring, then smooth the top with an offset spatula. 

Place in the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

Remove the rings and the acetate. Spray an even layer of white cocoa butter spray onto the cakes and freeze for 10 minutes to set. Reserve in the fridge to thaw.

When ready to serve, decorate with shards of crisp meringue. Halve a raspberry and brush the inside with neutral cold glaze and arrange on the cake, along with a whole raspberry. 








Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaf Mousse with Mango Coulis


Again with the tropical flavours! I'm sorry (not really) but they're just so darn good. Even though it's still miserable and rainy and a little cold here, I want bright and fresh and light in my desserts! And I know that New York had snow the other day and some people are still shovelling their driveways, but the calendar says it's spring, so I'm going with that.


This is a very light and airy mousse made with two kinds of egg foams, so it feels almost weightless! The mango coulis is thick and luscious and contrasts the lighter than air texture of the mousse. The dissolves so deliciously in your mouth while the mango coulis lingers for a while longer.


Super fresh, super light (texture-wise, not calorie-wise! this is not a healthy dessert!), and super flavourful. Get outta that snowed-in/rain-drenched funk you're in! Get your spring cleaning going (ugh...) and do those taxes that you've been putting off (just me?). Or, y'know, just eat this dessert and feel like your long hibernation is coming to an end.




Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaf Mousse with Mango Coulis

Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaf Mousse
Recipe adapted from Frozen Desserts

87 g lemongrass
5 g kaffir lime leaves
316 g heavy cream

50 g sugar
72 g egg yolks

119 g sugar
59 g egg whites

Mango Coulis

200 g ataulfo mango flesh
20 g honey


For the mousse, crush the lemongrass and combine with 100 g of cream with the kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, and steep for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Strain out the lemongrass and leaves through a fine-mesh strainer and chill. Once cold, combine with the remaining cream. Whip the cream to medium-stiff peaks, reserve in the fridge.

Make the pâte à bombe. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place the sugar in a saucepan with just enough water to make a paste. Dissolve the sugar over low heat, then increase to medium-high and cook the sugar to 115 C/239 F. When the sugar reaches 110 C/230 F, start whipping the yolks. Once the yolks start turning a pale yellow and have tripled in volume, pour the hot sugar down the side of the bowl and continue whipping until the yolks quadruple in volume and form a ribbon. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside. Wash the mixer bowl and dry.

Next, make the italian meringue. Place the remaining 59 grams egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Combine the 236 grams sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the syrup reaches 110 C/230 F.

Letting the syrup continue to cook, add a pinch of sugar to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium speed, and whip to soft peaks. If the whites reach soft peaks before the syrup reaches 120 C/248 F, reduce the speed to the lowest setting, just to keep them moving.

When the syrup reaches 120 C/248 F, remove the pan from the heat. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and slowly add the syrup, pouring it between the side of the bowl and 
the whisk. The meringue will deflate. Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, or until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. 

Fold the italian meringue into the pâte à bombe, and then fold the whipped cream into the mixture. Portion into glasses and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

For the mango coulis, roughly chop the mango into small pieces and add the honey. Using an immersion blender or blender, create a smooth purée. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and portion onto the mousse. 

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Earl Grey and Dark Chocolate Cream Puffs


I love tea. I've always loved tea. I drink tea every single morning and have done since I was a little kid. Back then, I used to drink it out of brightly coloured plastic cups. Now I drink out of an actual mug, but everything else is basically the same. I like my routines, probably a bit too much, and my morning tea routine hasn't changed in about 12 years.


I wake up and before I do anything else, I put the kettle on. Then I get dressed and put in my contacts and give my hair a quick brush. By the time, the kettle has boiled, so I pop a teabag into my little teapot and in goes the water. While that steeps, I prepare my mug with sugar and milk. The sugar and milk always go in before the tea. Always. I prepare my little bowl of granola, too, but I just eat that so I'm not starving in a few hours. It's the tea that I need in the morning. The tea has steeped enough at that point, so I pour it in my mug and sit on the couch.


First, I eat my granola. I have to eat my granola first or else I won't eat it at all. It's like telling kids that they have to finish their veggies before they can have ice cream. I begrudgingly eat my granola, but it's really just so I can have my tea. I know, it's odd.
Then I spend about 25 minutes drinking my tea and browsing my phone, looking at photos, or reading news articles. I need that quiet time, both to drink my tea without being hurried and also to actually wake up. 


I have this routine down to the minute. I don't even try to, but it just ends up that every morning, I sit down on the couch with my granola and tea at the exact same time as the day before. It's 3:41 am, in case you're wondering. 

When I tell people about my routine and how I wake up an hour before I leave the apartment, even though it only takes me 15 minutes to actually get ready, they're confused. They don't get why I need that quiet time to get my thoughts in order before a hectic and busy day. Don't get me wrong, I love sleep. I need sleep. I cannot function properly on 5 hours of sleep. But I also can't function properly without my quiet time, so that's the reason for the routine. And I actually look forward to my quiet tea time when I wake up. As soon as my alarm goes off, I look forward to my tea and some days I really need that to get my butt out of bed.


Surprisingly, I'm also really picky particular about my tea. It's gotta be black tea, always. Sorry, herbal, mate, rooibus, white, green, pu'erh and oolong, but you just don't cut it. I have to have white sugar (or maybe honey if I'm feeling extravagant). That's just the way it's gotta be.

While I do not like other flavours in my tea, I love combining black tea with other flavours in desserts. One of my favourite desserts that I've ever made on this blog is the Charred Lemon Mousse with Earl Grey Cream. This is also not the first time I have combined earl grey and dark chocolate, these Earl Grey Infused Chocolate Pots de Crème were first.


While my tea drinking habits and preferences are borderline ridiculous, it means I take my tea seriously. So when I make a dessert with tea, I make sure that the tea isn't just some end note or an aftertaste. Even when paired with a rich and flavourful ingredient like dark chocolate, the light and airy earl grey chantilly cuts the richness in flavour and in texture and makes everything wonderfully balanced. Just like the perfect cup of tea.


Earl Grey and Dark Chocolate Cream Puffs

Chocolate Pâte Sucrée

150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
112 g icing sugar
2 g salt
5 g vanilla extract
50 g eggs
195 g all-purpose flour
55 g cocoa powder
20 g cornstarch


Pâte à Choux

125 g water
125 g whole milk
5 g superfine sugar
5 g fleur de sel
110 g unsalted butter
140 g all-purpose flour
250 g eggs

Earl Grey Chantilly

100 g heavy cream
5 g loose leaf Earl Grey Tea
200 g heavy cream
15 g icing sugar

Dark Chocolate Mousse
Recipe from Elements of Dessert

120 g eggs
50 g sugar
160 g good quality dark chocolate (70-73%), finely chopped
263 g heavy cream

Chocolate Decor

125 g dark chocolate, finely chopped


Prepare the pâte sucrée. In a stand mixer, cream the butter until creamy. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and cornstarch and beat just until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Remove the tart dough and roll it out to a thickness of less than 1/16 inch (1 mm). Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.

Prepare the choux paste. In a saucepan, bring the water, milk, sugar, salt, and butter to a boy. With the saucepan still over the heat, add the flour all at once. Beat hard with a wooden spoon until the paste is smooth and shiny and continue being until the paste comes away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the paste to a bowl and incorporate the eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Transfer the finished paste to a piping bag fitted with a plain #14 pastry tip.

After 20 minutes in the freezer, remove the tart dough and cut out twelve to fourteen 2 1/2 inch (7 cm) rounds. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe out 12 to 14 choux balls about 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter and 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) tall, arranging them on the lined baking sheet about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. (Note: I use a 1 inch diameter demi sphere mold for my choux, freeze, then unmold onto the baking sheet). On each choux, place a disc of sweet tart dough. Place them in the oven and turn the oven off. Keep the oven off for ten minutes. Turn the oven back on to 350 F and continue baking the choux, After ten minutes, slide a wooden cooking spoon between the oven and its door to keep it partly open. Bake for another ten minutes. Transfer the choux to a wire rack to cool.

Split each choux crosswise three-quarters of the way up the side, keeping the tops with the bottom so you can match them back up after.

For the earl grey chantilly, heat the 100 g of heavy cream in a sauce until it just comes to a boil. Add the earl grey tea, cover with a lid, and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain and cool completely in the fridge.

Once the earl grey cream has chilled, whip the 200 g of heavy cream and icing sugar to stiff peaks. Slowly add the earl grey cream while whipping. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and reserve in the fridge.

For the chocolate mousse, whip the heavy cream to medium peaks and set aside in the fridge.

Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and place over a hot water bath while whisking constantly until it reaches 60 C/ 140 F.

Remove the mixture from the heat and place it in the stand mixer. Whip on high speed until it cools to about 35 C/ 95 F and creates ribbons, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over the hot water bath. Let it cool to 35 C/ 95 F.

Once both the egg mixture and the chocolate are at the correct temperatures, whisk the egg into the chocolate until evenly combined. Fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining half. 

Pipe the chocolate mousse into the bottom of the cream puffs, stopping when it reaches the top. Pipe the earl grey chantilly on, then top with the top of the cream puff. Pipe a small dot of earl grey cream on the top.

For the chocolate decor, place a sheet of acetate on your work surface and prepare a parchment cone place. Place 100 g of the chocolate in a boil set over a pot of barely simmering water. Melt the chocolate to 43 C, but do not heat it further. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 25 g of chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate reaches 27 C. 

To test to see if it is properly tempered, smear a small amount of chocolate on the acetate. If after a few minutes, the chocolate has hardened, has a shine to it, and snaps when you break it, it is tempered. Bring the chocolate up to 31 C, being careful not to heat it any further or you will bring it out of temper. Transfer the chocolate to the parchment cone and pipe overlapping circles of different sizes onto the parchment. Let the chocolate set.

Heat a small circular cookie cutter about 1/2 inch in diameter with a blowtorch. Cut out circles from the chocolate lace and set aside.

To finish, place a circle of chocolate lace into the dot of earl grey chantilly. Garnish with dried flowers (found in some loose leaf earl grey teas) and serve immediately.