Marx Foods Chocolate Challenge: Spicy Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Napoleon
Happy Holidays everybody! I hope you're having a great time decorating your houses and baking your cookies in preparation for the holidays. I celebrate Christmas and I'm loving being able to see our Christmas tree from the kitchen as I cook; it makes me smile. Did you all get your shopping done? I did a few days ago thankfully, so I had some time today to create an original chocolate dessert as my entry in the Marx Foods Capricious Chocolate Challenge. It's of course the last day to enter and I'm typing this up at 10:45pm ;-) I excel at procrastination like no one else. haha
Vote for FOODIE HERE!
The rules of the contest was that we were to create an original chocolate dish, either spicy, savory, or sweet, using one or more of the ingredients sent to us. The contestants were sent fennel pollen, dried candy cap mushrooms, dried puya chilies, Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans, and coconut sap sugar. Click on the links for any of these ingredients to find out more about them and how to best use them.
I decided to use the vanilla beans, puya chilies, and coconut sap sugar in my dessert. I immediately thought of making a chocolate mousse first and foremost because I love it so much. It's like a fluffy, cool, light pudding. I also thought it would be a fairly easy way to incorporate some spiciness into my dessert and I really wanted to do that. I've recently tasted some gourmet dark chocolates with chilies inside of them and really liked them a lot. The chilies wake up the chocolate and give it that punch that's so much fun to me. Plus, I love spicy food, so why not continue that idea into my desserts?
Read more after the jump!
I started out by removing the seeds from the vanilla bean like so...
Then I whisked together the egg yolks, sugar, and pinch of salt in a metal bowl.
I heated 3/4 cup of the heavy cream and added the vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla bean pod and cooked until hot.
I then removed the vanilla bean pod from the hot heavy cream, then added it in a slow, steady stream to the egg yolk mixture whisking constantly.
I added the custard back to the pot and heated to 160 degrees F.
I then strained the custard through a fine mesh sieve to catch all those lovely scrambled egg parts that inevitably occur when making custard... or that occur when I make custard. :-/
Stir the strained custard and set aside until you need it.
Measure 7 oz. of dark Belgian (the best!) chocolate...
Melt it in the microwave on 50% power level for 3-4 minutes. Then stir in your finely chopped puya chilies and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Whisk in the custard.
Using my Kitchen Aid mixer (hello lover...), I whisked the remaining 1 1/4 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks.
I whisked 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
I then folded the rest of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, creating the chocolate mousse. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
Next I made the raspberry sauce by adding the raspberries, orange juice, and sugar to a pot and heating through. I added the corn starch and water mixture and stirred while it was heating to thicken.
I brought the mixture to a boil, then simmered for 5 more minutes.
I pureed the mixture in a blender.
Then strained it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
Next I fried up the wonton wrappers.
I made sure to sprinkle each one with the coconut sugar the second they got out of the hot oil.
Then I loaded up my piping bag with the chocolate mousse and assembled the napoleons. Check the recipe below for step by step instructions on how to assemble and present this fantastic dessert.
I hope you enjoy this recipe if you choose to make it and I hope you do because it's fun and sassy and I think the bright red color of the raspberry sauce is perfect for the holiday season.
I also hope this recipe is good enough to win this competition! Cross your fingers and stay tuned to find out how you can support me in this competition by voting your little hearts out.
Some of my Virtual Potluck buddies also entered this contest... check their entries out too!
Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine's Double Chocolate Fennel Pollen Biscotti
Cookistry's Browned Butter Brownies with Fennel Salt
Cooking with Books' Coconut Sugar Chocolate Cake with Spicy Habanero Chocolate Ganache and Fennel Pollen Spiced Tuile
Farmgirl Gourmet's Marx Bark
Not Rachael Ray's Chocolate Pudding Trio