Monday, March 26, 2012

Citrus and Chocolate Surprise with filo cigar / Sweet Mondays 'Stressed is desserts spelled backwards'

Gosh where should we start with this one...If you want to really have fun in the kitchen and stretch yourself by using a number of techniques, then this dessert is definitely for you! Loads of creativity, textures and delicious aromas. This is a dessert that will bring your kitchen alive and make your heart sing! Incredibly decadent, luxurious and oh SO delish. You can refrigerate dessert for later enjoyment, however, we much preferred indulging straight after assembling, so that the textures stayed as they should be - light and fluffy mousse, silky smooth ganache, heavenly soft curd. Refrigeration will firm up all components, so make sure you allow 15 minute resting time before eating. 
Our lovely neighbours are new parents to a beautiful baby girl 'Miller Jean'. We wanted to do something special for them. Upon hearing Millie's mum was craving chocolate we though uh-huh, we know just the dessert to make for these two gorgeous parents. On Saturday afternoon we visited surprising them with our Citrus and Chocolate surprise and a copy of movie 'Chocolat'.

'Citrus and Chocolate Surprise with Roasted Pistachio filo cigar'
serves 4
(inspired by MKR)
To make orange curd, simmer orange juice in a medium saucepan until reduced by half. Remove from heat. Add sugar, butter, lemon juice, cornflour and orange blossom water. Whisk to combine. Add egg yolks. Whisk to combine. Stir over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Strain into a shallow bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour or until set *Don't over refrigerate curd as it will become too hard and this will will make it difficult when plating up!
Crush the biscuits by using a food processor or by placing into a freezer bag and banging with rolling pin. Place aside.

Weigh and chop up all chocolate that is to be used and set aside in their portions.

 To make mousse, beat egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar dissolves and mixture is soft and glossy. Set aside.
 Beat cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Stir chocolate, butter and zest in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth and combined. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. 
Stir in yolk. Fold in cream. Fold in egg white mixture in two batches. Fold in liqueur. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until partially set.  
 To make ganache, heat cream, cardamom and zest in a medium saucepan until hot. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Stand 2 minutes. Stir until smooth and combined. Divide among four serving glasses (300ml-capacity). Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. 

Meanwhile, to make candied orange peel, line a small tray with baking paper.
Thinly peel orange using a vegetable peeler, then cut into a fine julienne (alternatively, you could use a citrus zester, which is what we did, and it worked a treat). Cook in a small saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain.
Stir sugar, water and syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add peel. Bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes until peel is translucent. Strain. Place candied peel in a single layer on prepared tray until required (as above). Reserve syrup for another use as below (eg. Pancakes, waffles, ice-cream)

To make cigars, preheat oven to 200C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Roast pistachios for approx 5-10 mins. Process pistachios in a small food processor until crushed, or if you don't have a food processor place pistachios into freezer bag and bash with rolling pin (as we did). Place in a bowl with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside 1 teaspoon of the mixture, to sprinkle over top of cigars later.

Combine melted butter and zest in a small bowl.Cut filo sheet into quarters. Brush with butter zest mixture. Sprinkle pistachio mixture along one short edge of each filo quarter. Roll into a cigar shape, brushing the outside with butter as you roll.

 Place on prepared tray. Sprinkle with reserved pistachio mixture. Bake for 10 minutes until golden and crisp 
Curd and Mousse set and ready to plate up with ganache
To assemble, spoon in ganache, then sprinkle half the crushed biscuits over the ganache in the serving glasses. Spoon over a 1/2cm layer of the curd then top with remaining biscuit crumbs and finally the mousse. Decorate with candied peel. Serve with cigars.


16 Chocolate Ripple biscuits, crushed

Orange curd

150ml fresh orange juice
150g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp cornflour
1/4 tsp orange blossom water *optional (we skipped this)

3 egg yolks

Chocolate cardamom ganache

200ml thickened cream
pinch ground cardamom
Finely grated zest of 1/4 an orange

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped


3 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar (you do not need this - we didn't use it)
1 tbs caster sugar
225ml thickened cream 
125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
25g unsalted butter, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1/4 an orange
1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1 tbs orange liqueur *optional (we skipped this part)

Candied orange peel

1 large orange
100g sugar
100ml water

2 tsp glucose syrup


50g roasted pistachios
25g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
40g butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1/4 orange
1 sheet filo pastry