Let this feeling go: a plated dessert

So continuing with my Valentine’s/Singles Awareness Day desserts, I wanted to make something with berries, cream, champagne, and chocolate. But I didn’t want to do just the obvious strawberries with champagne and white chocolate combination. I wanted to be a little different, so I opted for ruby chocolate and raspberries, and for my cream component, I went with creme fraiche instead, just to keep the dessert tart and bright. So for this dessert, we have a champagne-crème fraiche posset, which is like a panna cotta, but set with milk cultures instead of gelatin(think freshly made mascarpone cheese), champagne-gold leaf gelee, macerated raspberries, a ruby chocolate disk, and a raspberry-ruby chocolate ganache. I wanted to do a verrine where you can see all of the different layers in the dessert, and I felt like it had been a while since I did a chocolate pour dessert, so I decided to go that route with this one. I just love seeing hot ganache melting through a disk of chocolate. It’s very theatrical, artistic, and just makes for a really fun dessert.

For the naming of the dessert, I went with a line from Dua Lipa’s song “Electricity”, since it just fit with the Valentine’s Day theme. That and I feel like the name can also refer to the chocolate disk giving way to the ganache that is poured onto it, showing that in the face of love, you can let loose and let go. I wanted to use gold leaf for this dessert, not because it has flavor, because let’s be real here, it doesn’t, but the glimmer adds that upscale aesthetic that is perfect for Valentine’s.

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Makes three servings:
For the posset:
1/3 cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons champagne
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start by melting down the champagne with sugar and salt. Once dissolved, fold in the crème fraiche. Take off heat and finish with the vanilla. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe into the bottoms of three clear glasses, filling them only about 20-30% full. Gently tap the glasses against a folded towel to allow the mixtures to even out. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.

For the gelee:
1/2 cup champagne
1 sheet of gold leaf
2 tablespoons agar agar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Melt agar down into the champagne, with sugar and salt, and allow it to simmer until reduced by about 1/3, making sure that the alcohol has been cooked off. Pour into a shallow container. Carefully layer the gold leaf onto the surface of the gelee mixture while it is still warm, then refrigerate until firm, about 10-15 minutes.

For the disk:
1 cup ruby chocolate, in 4 parts

On a double boiler, melt about 3 parts of your ruby chocolate until it is just melted. Take off heat and fold in the remaining part, stirring until fully incorporated. Pour onto a sheet of acetate and spread using an offset spatula (I made the mistake of sandwiching between two acetate sheets, so my circles came out a lot less clean on the edges). Refrigerate for about 5 minutes, then using a ring cutter, cut out three circles of the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to continue sitting in the refrigerator until it is time to assemble the dessert.

For the ganache:
1/4 cup ruby chocolate
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1/4 cup raspberry puree
2 tablespoons champagne
a pinch of salt

Melt crème fraiche, puree, and champagne together first. The fold in your ruby chocolate at the end and transfer to small ramekins for serving.

To garnish:
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon champagne
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Toss raspberries with the other ingredients just before it is time to assemble, just to season them.

For assembly:
Slice the gelee into 1/4th inch cubes. Adorn the tops of the posset with the macerated raspberries and the gelee cubes. Top with a disk of ruby chocolate. Warm up the ganache if it is not warm, just before serving. Pour the ganache on the disk and watch it melt through all of the layers!

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