Baking and cooking for me are often times much more than just eating. Particularly with baking. I enjoy the process of thinking about ingredients, scaling, folding and finishing. It’s very therapeutic for me in a way that it almost feels like a necessity.
“What will happen to you now?”, asked my brother once I told him about all the test results that came back to me last week. He was referring to the gluten intolerance diagnosis (amongst other issues) that my doctor had shared with me just a few hours prior. “Bake even more!”, I replied.
For the last few months that I have given up gluten, going shopping has been like going to the candy shop. So many new ingredients to play around with. So many grains to cook with. My pantry and refrigerator shelves are full of grain flours, new nut and seed butters, oils…
It seems ironic how gluten, which for years has been the essence of my work and also life, has turned out to be not so good for me. I am sure that other factors besides gluten itself triggered all my immune responses, but gluten further aggravated them.
So as I told my brother, here I am, baking away. For the next couple of weeks, I will not be able to have any dairy either, so unfortunately, these chocolate, hazelnut and coconut mousse cakes were off limits, but I surely loved making them for my family. My mom, who is the chocoholic that she is, loved them. I will just have to make them again for me some time soon.
Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuit
makes 1/2 sheet pan
180 grams egg whites
185 grams muscovado sugar
75 grams sugar
150 grams hazelnut flour
20 grams cocoa powder
225 grams butter, melted or coconut oil
Whisk together the egg whites and the sugars. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the whites to the dry. Whisk until combined. Whisk in the melted and cooled butter or the coconut oil.
Line half a sheetpan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly.
Bake at 350F for about 15-20 minutes until cake baked.
enough for 10 3×2 ring molds
45 grams sugar
100 grams egg yolks
300 grams dark chocolate (use couverture if you can)
400 ml heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined. Bring the bowl to a double boiler and cook until it starts to thicken, like making a sabayon. Remove from heat and bring to the mixer and whip to a thick ribbon.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate over a double boiler and let it cool.
When sabayon has cooled, fold in the soft peak whipped cream. Whisk some of the chocolate into it and then, fold in the rest.
Place the mousse in a piping bag. Line ring molds with acetate paper or parchment paper the fits around the circumference. Cut a disk of chocolate biscuit and place it on the bottom of the ring mold. Pipe in the chocolate mousse and refrigerate until set.
150 ml heavy cream
30 ml heavy cream (to temper the gelatin)
10 grams freshly grated coconut or unsweeneted dry coconut
1 tsp coconut extract, optional
30 grams sugar
1 sheet of gelatin
100 grams plain whole yogurt
Whip the 150ml heavy cream with the sugar, coconut and coconut extract till soft peaks form. In the meantime, bloom the gelatin in ice water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water.
Heat the 30ml of heavy cream and dissolve the gelatin into it. Fold in a bit of the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture to temper. Fold back into the rest of the cream. Fold in yogurt.
Place the mousse in a piping bag and pipe on top of the chilled chocolate mousse. Refrigerate until it sets and serve with coconut shavings.