Goodnight, Meteorite: a plated dessert

So I actually made a dessert years ago, though realistically most of you wouldn’t know that because this was pre-Masterchef, aka the period of time where legit nobody really knew about me, named Goodnight, Meteor. That dessert featured coffee, chocolate, and cookies. So I wanted to take that, and redo it in a cooler format. So I went with a Kona coffee mousse, homemade speculoos, both he cookie and the butter, which I turned into a cookie butterscotch, chantilly cream, a caramelized white chocolate and cookie crunch shell, and a tempered dark chocolate shell on top, with the cookie crunch, and bubble sugar. I wanted the dessert to resemble a meteorite that had just crashed, and is still smoking a little. This honestly was a very process-heavy dessert, just because I made my own speculoos and my own caramelized white chocolate, and there were a lot of steps and components behind it. That being said, it was an absolutely delicious dessert and easily one of my favorites!

For the Kona coffee mousse:
1/4 cup Kona coffee grounds
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon gelatin powder
1 tablespoon milk
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt
2/3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a pot on low heat, heat up the coffee with water and reduce by half. Pour through a strainer to remove the solids and return to the pot and continue to heat. Mix together the milk and gelatin and place into the pot as well, allowing it to melt into the liquid. In a bowl, whisk together your egg yolks with the dark brown sugar and salt. Temper the egg yolks with the coffee and whisk on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour through a sieve and cool down to room temperature. Whip heavy cream with vanilla to stiff peaks. Fold together your two mixtures. Pour into 3-inch silicone half sphere molds and freeze for at least 2 hours. 1 hour into the process, be sure to scoop out and reserve about 1 tablespoon-sized portions from the center of your mousses.

For the speculoos:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 egg whites
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix together your ingredients to form a dough. Roll out between two silpats and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool down, then crush into smaller pieces.

For the cookie butterscotch core:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup cookie crumbs
a pinch of salt
reserved coffee mousse

Heat up the butter, sugar, cream, cookie crumbs, and salt until reduced by half and formed into a creamy paste. Stir in the reserved coffee mousse and refrigerate the mixture until cooled before transferring into a piping bag.

For the caramelized white chocolate:
2 cups white chocolate chips

Pour the chocolate onto a silpat lined sheet tray. Roast at 275 degrees F for 45 minutes, scraping the bottom of the silpat and stirring the chocolate every 5 minutes. Cool down completely before using.

For the crumble:
1/4 cup cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons melted caramelized white chocolate

Mix together on a double boiler. Refrigerate until set.

For the caramelized chocolate shell:
1 cup caramelized white chocolate
1/4 cup cookie crumbs

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler first. Once melted, take off heat and stir to 90 degrees F before adding in your cookies. Unmold the half spheres and place them, round side up, onto an icing rack. Pour your shell base onto them and allow the shells to set before removing the mousse and continue to freeze. You can also pipe the cookie butterscotch core into the hulled out centers now if desired.

For the dark chocolate shells:
1/2 cup dark chocolate
a pinch of salt

Heat up the dark chocolate with salt in a double boiler until half melted. Take off heat and stir until combined and equally melted. Once the chocolate is at 87 degrees F, pour into lightly oiled 3-inch plastic half dome molds, filling them up completely with the chocolate. Tip out any excess, scraping with an offset spatula. Freeze for at least 20 minutes before unmolding the spheres. Heat up a 2-inch metal ring mold and cut the half domes in half with those. Then heat up a metal 1/4-inch ring mold and press to cut a hole into the tops of the spheres. Refrigerate until it is time to assemble.

For the bubble sugar:
1/4 cup isomalt
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coffee liquor

Heat up the isomalt, water, and salt until it reaches 250 degrees F. Pour and spread the liquor over a parchment sheet. Pour the sugar onto the parchment and allow the sugar to spread around the sheet and bubble up. Once the sugar is cooled down, transfer to a parchment-lined airtight container to store.

For the chantilly cream:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together your ingredients to form stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag.

To assemble:
Start with your crumble, then place on the glazed coffee mousse. Pipe on some chantilly, then garnish with the chocolate shell and your bubble sugar to finish.

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