Nexus: a ruby chocolate entremet

I was originally going to do a rose, ruby chocolate, and pistachio tiramisu when I was conceptualizing this dessert, but then I thought about the presentation, and how I really didn’t want it to look too similar to my dreaming of springtime dessert. So instead, I opted for an entremet instead. The flavor combination of pistachio and ruby chocolate came about when I was talking to MasterChef season 9 contestant, Samantha, about things that I could pair with the ruby chocolate, and she suggested pistachio. For me, I love pistachio with rose, and I knew that the colors of rose and ruby chocolate were similar enough that it could all aesthetically work together as well, so I really just went for it. I wanted to do a pink dessert for Pinktober, as an homage to my mother, who is a two-time breast cancer survivor, and to my mother’s preferences, I even made this dessert with all natural coloring, something she stresses a ton as she hates food coloring and artificial ingredients.

For the different layers, we have pistachio jaconde sponge, ruby chocolate mousse, a rose gelee insert, and a ruby chocolate mirror glaze, garnished with ruby chocolate twigs. I came up with the name Nexus from listening to a song by ClariS, by the same name. The word nexus itself can refer to a central or important place, and as the dessert is an homage to my mother, who is a huge influence behind by plating aesthetic, it all just made the more sense to name the dessert what I named it. For the colors, they were achieved naturally using the ruby chocolate and pistachio, but I did use pitaya powder for more pink hues and the spirulina for additional green coloring as well.

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For the jaconde sponge:
3/4 cups ground pistachios + 1/4 cup
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Whip egg whites with half of your sugar, the vanilla, baking soda, and salt to stiff peaks. Whip the whole eggs with the remaining sugar and slowly stream in the olive oil, whipping until emulsified into a thickened mixture. Sift the flour and 3/4 cups of pistachio powder. Combine everything except for the 1/4 cup of pistachio powder and spread onto a lined quarter sized sheet tray. Sprinkle pistachio powder onto the top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes.

For the rose gelee insert:
1/4 cup rose petal jam
1 tablespoon pitaya powder
3 tablespoons agar agar
1/2 cup water
a pinch of salt

Bring ingredients to a simmer. Pour into a shallow container and allow to set in the refrigerator or freezer until solidified.

For the rose soak:
2 tablespoons rose petal jam
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup water

Simmer ingredients together for 3 minutes. Pass through a sieve to remove solids and allow the soak to cool down before using.

For the ruby chocolate mousse:
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup ruby chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pitaya powder

Melt gelatin, salt, and pitaya powder into the milk. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Melt the ruby chocolate into the milk mixture. Once fully melted and incorporated, temper in your egg yolks and mix on medium-low heat until the mixture is thickened. Strain into a bowl and allow to cool down completely before folding in the heavy cream.

For assembly:
I actually used this mold for my entremet, but really any entremet mold can work

With the cake, cut into two rectangles. For the first, make sure it is an inch in width and length smaller than the hole of the mold. For the second, make sure it is as close in size to that hole as possible. Drizzle the rose soak onto both pieces. With the unsoaked pieces, cube those for garnish.

With the rose gelee, slice it into roughly the same size as the smaller rectangle. It does not have to be one big piece of gelee, it just has to be the same size. Reserve any spare pieces and cube those for garnish on top.

Pour some of your mousse into the bottom of the mold, using the back of a spoon to spread it as evenly along the sides as possible. Press down in your smaller rectangle of cake. Pour in some more mousse, making sure to scrap up the sides of the mold with any excess mousse as well. Press in your gelee, then pour on the rest of your mousse, and your last piece of cake. Freeze this for at least 6 hours before unmolding, glazing, and garnishing with the twigs and cubes of gelee and cake.

For the mirror glaze
1 cup ruby chocolate (you can sub up to 3/4 of this with white chocolate if desired)
a pinch of salt
2 packets of gelatin powder + 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon pitaya powder

In a pot, melt down pitaya powder, gelatin, and salt into the milk. Add in your chocolate and stir using a rubber spatula until incorporated. Pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Get the temperature of your glaze to about 90 degrees F before pouring onto your entremet to glaze it.

For the ruby chocolate twigs:
1/4 cup ruby chocolate
salt
ice
water

Melt 3 tablespoons of your ruby chocolate with a pinch of salt on a double boiler. Once it reaches 100 degrees F, take off heat and add in the remaining tablespoon of it. Transfer to a piping bag. Set up a bowl with ice and water. Pipe thin lines of the chocolate into the ice to create your twigs.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    This looks so amazing. What’s more impressive is what’s inside! Thanks for the close-up!

    Liked by 1 person

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