Yakudo: a plated dessert

With this dessert, I wanted to just focus in on two flavors: chocolate and passionfruit. I really love the contrast between dark and bitter and bright and tart, so putting the two together just made perfect sense. For my components, we have a dark pate choux with passionfruit inspiration namelaka, dark chocolate mousse, dark chocolate craqueline, passionfruit inspiration nest, passionfruit granita, and dark chocolate shards. I named the dessert yakudo, which in Japanese means “surge” or weirdly specifically enough, the derivative of acceleration in respect to time(yeah, Japanese is a crazy language, right?), as a reference to the contrast between bright passionfruit and dark chocolate, which is a favorite pairing of mine.

While I have made many a namelaka on this blog, I actually think this might be the first granita, or one of the first I have made here. For those unfamiliar with it, granita is an Italian shaved ice, typically made with fruit juice. You freeze the fruit juice, then shave it with a fork until it is super light in color, crunchy in texture, and it is overall just a really refreshing way to enjoy a fruit or a juice. You can make it with essentially any liquid, sweet or savory, but it is more commonly used in desserts or as a pre-dessert or palate cleanser. In my case, I am using passionfruit for this recipe. I will admit that one of my favorite ways to use kiwis are in a granita as well, since they have those nice crunchy seeds(I’m looking at you, xoconostle/prickly pear), and in the case of passionfruit, they also have crunchy and completely edible seeds, so I figured using the fresh passionfruit for an additional texture and to further introduce that flavor would be fun!

For the passionfruit granita:
2 passionfruit
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt

Mix the pulp and seeds from the passionfruit into the other ingredients. Pour onto a shallow tray and freeze until solid. Scrape with a fork until feathery and light, like shaved ice, and then return to the freezer until time to assemble.

For the passionfruit namelaka:
1 teaspoon gelatin powder
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup passionfruit juice or puree
1 teaspoon cornstarch
a pinch of salt
4oz passionfruit inspiration
2oz white chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix gelatin and water together first. In a pot, whisk the puree or juice with cornstarch first to remove any lumps. Place on low heat then whisk in the gelatin and salt. Take off heat and whisk in the other ingredients, returning the pot to low heat as necessary to guarantee even melting and incorporation of the chocolate and butter. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature, then whip with a paddle attachment until nearly doubled in volume. Pour into silicone half sphere molds(1-inch in diameter) and spread them flat with an offset spatula. Freeze for at least two hours. To form the full spheres, heat up an empty pot. Flip the pot over so that the flat surface that just touched the flame or heat source is facing up. Carefully press the flat side of one of the mousses against the heated metal, then seal two halves together to form your sphere. Re-freeze these until it is time to assemble.

For the craqueline:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
a pinch of salt

Mix ingredients together to form a dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 5 minutes before rolling out 2-inch disks, rerolling the dough as necessary. Keep these chilled for easier transportation.

For the choux pastry:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
1 egg

Sift the cocoa powder and flour together. In a pot, bring the water, salt, and butter to a boil. Toss in your flour mixture into that liquid and stir to form a ball. Allow the dough ball to cool down to lukewarm and then whisk in your egg. Transfer into a piping bag. Pipe out 1 1/2 inch mounds onto a lined sheet pan, keeping each 2 inches apart, and then place on a disk of dough. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees F for another 15 minutes to finish. Allow the dough to cool down completely before attempting to fill.

For the passionfruit nest:
1/4 cup passionfruit inspiration chocolate
1/2 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
a pinch of salt

Prepare a bowl with ice water and keep cold. Melt the passionfruit chocolate on a double boiler until there are no more solids, then take off heat. Stir in the salt first and stir until the temperature of the chocolate has been reduced down to about 90 degrees F. Stir in the cocoa butter. Continue to mix until the chocolate is 88 degrees F. Transfer the chocolate into a piping bag and then pipe it directly into the ice cold water to form a nest. Repeat with all of your chocolate.

For the tempered chocolate:
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
a pinch of salt

Melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler until there are no more solids, then take off heat. Stir in the salt first and stir until the temperature of the chocolate has been reduced down to about 90 degrees F. Stir in the cocoa butter. Continue to mix until the chocolate is 88 degrees F. Spread some of the chocolate onto acetate and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Break into smaller pieces.

For the dark chocolate mousse:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water

Bloom the gelatin with the water in a bowl. Place the bloomed gelatin into a pot with milk and butter and heat up on medium heat. Once the gelatin and butter have dissolved into the milk, temper that mixture into your egg yolks. Pour the heated milk mixture over chocolate chips stir until combined. Then fold in the heavy cream and salt, allowing everything to fully incorporate into one smooth, homogenous mixture. Transfer into a piping bag. Pipe these into the cream puffs while the mixture is still at room temperature. To pipe, make an incision into the flat side of the cooled down pate choux, then pipe in the filling.

To finish:
Gold leaf

To plate, start with your chocolate mousse. Pipe a small dollop, then place onto that the filled pate choux with the filled side facing up. Place a half sphere of the set passionfruit mousse on top to cover the hole in the pate choux. Then garnish with the two kinds of tempered chocolate and the gold leaf. To the side of that, make a small bed of granita and place onto that an assembled sphere of the passionfruit namelaka to finish.

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