Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chocolate mousse, lavender crémeux and berry compote from Michel Roux

This time, along to the plan, I decided to posted a kind of a decadant dessert: Chocolate mousse, lavender crémeux and berry compote from Michel Roux. Michel Roux is a famous French-born chef and restaurateur in the Great Britain, the author of many wonderful cooking books. Today I would like to share the recipe from his book "Desserts", which you can buy here: in English or in Dutch.

This recipe is not really difficult, but it will take some time. To make your life easier, you can devide all work in 4 days:
1st day: making the lavender cremeux
2d day: making the campote and chocolate Genouse sponge
3d day: making the chocolate mousee and assembling the dessert
4th day: serving

Special equipment:
4 metal rings (h 5.5 cm x d 8 - 8.5 cm) / I bought mine in COOK&CO
silicone half-sphere mould (d 7 cm)/ I bought mine on Amazon
acetate strips (Inlegfolie voor Garneereringen)/ I bought it in COOK&CO, but they don't have it any more. It's a wonderful Dutch brend: Patisse (you can have a look here), but unfortunately I can't fine the shop with whole assortment of their products. Does anybody know? It would be lovely, I'm a crazy baker and need a lot of stuff from them!

Ingridients for 4 portions:

Lavender cremeux
 3 egg yolks
40 gr caster sugar
250 ml cream 11-15%
3 gr lavender flowers
2 sheet leaf gelatine (I used Dr.Oetker)

Berry campote
100 gr caster sugar
250 gr berry mix (I used mix from Albert Heijn/ AH Doosjevol zomerfruit)
 juice of 1/2 lemon

Chocolate Genouse sponge

2 eggs
37 gr flour, sifted
25 gr cocoa powder, sifted
63 gr caster sugar
15 gr butter, melted and cooled
Chocolate mousse
100 gr dark chocolate 70%, chopped into small pieces
200 ml double cream (Slagroom 35%)
150 ml creme anglaise

Creme anglaise
90 ml milk
30 gr caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways
30 gr egg yolks 

Levender cremeux:
1. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together, using a whisk.
2. Meanwhile, put the cream and lavender flowers in a saucepan and slowly heat to simmering point.
3. Pour the cream mix onto the egg and sugar mix. Don't stop stirring with the whisk.
4. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over a light heat until slightly thickende. Stur very lightly and don't let the mixture go above 85 C.
5. Meanwhile, soften the gelatine in a dish with cold water.
6. Remove the cremeux from the heat. Add softened gelatine to cremeux (don't forget to squeeze out excess water). Stir the mixture to dissolve gelatine.
7. Strain through a fine sieve to remove lavender flowers.
8. Process cremeux in a blender for 30 seconds.
 9. Michel Roux recomend pipe the cremeux (after firming up) with a piping bag, centrally on the sponge rounds in the rings. You can do the same. But I prefer to freeze the cremeux in a silicone half-sphere mould (d 7 cm). In this case you can keep the cremeux in a freezer till 3d day, when you will assemble the dessert.

Chocolate Genoese sponge:

1. Preheat the oven to 175-180 C. (My oven can be preheated only to 175 or 200 C. So I bake on 175 C). Cover the pan (20x25 cm) with baking paper.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a big bowl with a mixer for about 12 minutes.
3. Add flour and cocoa powder to the mixture, and delicately fold it with a rubber spatula.
4. Add the melted butter and fold in carefully. Don't overwork, we should keep air in the mixture.
5. Using a palette knife, spread the mixture evenly over the prepared pan and bake 6-10 minutes.
6. Invert on to a sheet of baking paper and set aside to cool.
7. Once cooled, cut out 4 rounds, using 8-8.5 cm metal ring. If you are not going to assemble the dessert the same day, you can cover each round with a plastic foil and keep in the refrigerator till 3d day.

Berry campote:
1. Mix frozen berries with a sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat.
2. Heat to simmering point, poach for about 2 minutes, then leave to cool in the syrup.
3. When cooled, carefully strain the berries. Return syrup to the pan, let bubble over a brisk heat to reduce by two-thirds, then pour over the berries.
4. Add the lemon juice, cover and refrigerate till assemble the dessert.

Creme anglaise:
1. Put the milk and the vanilla pod into a heavy-based saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Continue to whisk until the mixture become pale and has a light ribbon consistency.
3. Pour the boiling milk on to the egg yolks, whisking continuously, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil or it may curdle! The custard is ready when it has thickened slightly (when you run a finger through the spoon, it should leave a clear space).
5. Take the pan off the heat, pour the creme through the fine sieve.

Chocolate mousse:
1.Put the chocolate into a bowl, pour hot creme anglaise over the chocolate, stirring. Use a baloon whisk to mix until melted and smooth.
2. In another bowl, whip the cream to a ribbon consistency, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture, using a rubber spatula. Don't overwork it!

Assembling of the dessert
1. Place acetate strips around the inside of metal rings.2. Place a layer of Genoese sponge in the bottom of the rings. You can brush the sponge with a berry liqueur, if you have one (I used Creme de Cassis). You can also put some berry campote centrally on the sponge rounds.
3. Take from the freezer half-spheres of lavender cremeux and put them centrally on the sponge rounds.
4. Spoon the chocolate mousse into the rings, filling them to the top and enclosing the cremeux. Tap each lightly to remove any air bubbles and gently smooth the surface with a palette knife.
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. At least 2 hours.

1. Very carefully release the desserts from the rings and acetate strips.
2. Place onto a serving plate with a spoon of berry campote alongside. You can put 1-2 berries on top.
3. Serve immediately. Enjoy! It's really tasty!
I love the mix of flavours and textures in this dessert!This is the first time, when I cook with lavender flowers and I really like the taste. It's a nice idea to bring fresh notes to the old classic, for example to a crème brûlée: just add some to a creme instead of vanilla bean seeds and you will get a lavender crème brûlée!

Another idea: if you will have some leftovers of chocolate mousse (I had some), you can make a wonderfull shot-glass dessert:
1. Place some frozen berries in the bottom of the glass. Pour with some Creme de Cassis.
2. Spoon the chocolate mousse on top of berries.
3. Cool in refrigerator at least 1 hour.
4. Serve with a fresh berry on top.
Have a nice day and enjoy your dessert!


  1. Wow, your dessert looks absolutely stunning - I love your photos and presentation! I bet it tastes great too!

    1. Just read your comment! Thank you so much! Sorry for the late reply:-)