My Key to Happiness: a plated dessert

This dessert is meant to be inspired by a ton o  things I love to eat or make me happy. That included salted caramel, chocolate, cream, butter, and flowers. We have a chocolate-peanut crumble on the bottom, a tempered chocolate sphere with gold leaf, stuffed with chocolate mousse and caramel-braised peanuts, edible flowers and micro greens, and an isomalt key. I wanted the dessert to be like a “Snickers” bar, but with a slight nod to the Taiwanese creamy peanut soup(花生仁汤) I would have out of a can growing up in the form of those caramel braised peanuts.


For the chocolate-peanut crumble:
1/4 cup dark chocolate
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon coconut oil
a pinch of salt

Melt everything together and spread on a parchment sheet. Refrigerate until set then chop up into smaller pieces. Keep cold.

For the caramel braised peanuts:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup roasted peanuts

Heat up sugar and salt until it begins to brown. Add in your cream, butter, and peanuts and stir together. Allow the peanuts to simmer in the caramel for at least 10 minutes on low heat before transferring into an airtight container and refrigerating until cold.

For the chocolate mousse:
4 oz silken tofu
4 oz dark chocolate
a pinch of salt

Puree together everything until creamy. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and refrigerate until cold to the touch.

For the sphere:
1 cup dark chocolate
Gold leaf

Melt the chocolate on a double boiler. Once the chocolate is half melted, take off heat and stir until completely melted. Pour into half sphere molds, about 3 to 4 inch in diameter. Once the molds are filled completely with chocolate pour up side down to remove any excess and scrape with an offset spatula to smooth out. Keep upside down on a parchment sheet for 5 minutes before turning back round side down, scraping off any other excess, then refrigerate. Pipe into half of your half spheres your mousse and peanuts. With the empty halves, remove them and place them round side up on a nonstick surface. Heat up a round metal piping tip and a knife with a blowtorch and make cuts to form your keyholes. Rechill the tops down for 10 minutes then heat up an empty pot. Place the flat heated side up, and place your keyhole spheres halves onto the heated metal for 5 seconds. Press the top half into your bottom halves and smooth out the sides. Refrigerate for another 15 minutes then unmold. Finish with gold leaf.

For the isomalt key:
1/4 cup isomalt
2 tablespoons water

Heat the isomalt and water together until it reaches 275 degrees F. Take off heat and carefully spoon the isomalt onto parchment in the shape of a key. Allow the isomalt to set before transferring it into an airtight container lined with oil and parchment.

For assembly:
Edible flowers
Nasturtium leaves

Start with your crumble, then place on your sphere, flowers, micro greens and the isomalt key to finish.


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