Crème Brûlée & Chocolate Mousse Cake

Ingredients for Crème Brûlée 
32 oz heavy cream
2 ea vanilla beans (or 1 T vanilla paste)
7.5 oz egg yolks (approx. 13 large yolks)
3.5 oz sugar
2T Premium Matcha powder
3 ea silver gelatin sheets, softened in cold water and squeezed dry OR 1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin powder bloomed in 1 1⁄4 oz cold water 
Haco Swiss Caramel sugar (available at https://www.scff.com) 

Method of Preparation Crème Brûlée:
Before you start making the custard, set up your containers (ramekins, verrines, molds) on a tray and set aside. Set up a large bowl with a strainer and keep it next to the stove until needed. 

Scrape the vanilla beans and mix with the heavy cream in a saucepan. Throw in scraped pods. Simmer. 

When the cream simmers, combine sugar, egg yolks, and Matcha powder in a bowl and whisk gently just to combine. There should be no lumps.

NOTE: If you mix the yolks and sugar too soon, the sugar will “cook” the yolks and you’ll end up with scrambled yolks. 

Immediately “temper” the yolk mixture by pouring 1/3 the cream into the yolk mix, gently whisking. Add the rest of the cream in two parts whisking gently. 

This is the part where most cooks pour the mix into the ramekins and bake the custard in a water bath. If you stop here, the vanilla beans (little black dots) will sink to the bottom of the dish and will end up in the dishwasher after you eat it. You pay extra for these beautiful dots! Follow the rest of the instructions so the vanilla beans end up suspended throughout the custard. 

Critical Extra Step! Add mix back to sauce pan, cook at medium heat, stirring constantly. DO NOT BOIL. The mix will thicken a little bit. It is ready when it lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon. If using a thermometer, it should reach 175°F (80°C). 

Add gelatin and mix quickly until fully incorporated. 

Immediately strain into prepared clean bowl. It will continue to cook in the pan, so it’s important to strain it as soon as it reaches the desired texture. 

Cool over ice bath while stirring or cover with plastic wrap directly touching custard and bring to room temperature. 

Pour into molds. Chill for four hours or overnight. If using as inserts, freeze after pouring into molds. 

For Baked Crème Brûlée:
Omit gelatin and follow steps 1 through 5. Pour into ramekins or oven-safe containers. Cook in water bath 275°F until it has the consistency of jello when tapped gently. Baking time will depend on your oven and the size of your containers. Use these times as a guideline:

1 - 3 oz molds: 20 - 30 min.

4 - 6 oz molds: 35 - 45 min. 

7 - 8 oz molds: 50 min. 

Turnout:
Crème brûlée is best when creamy and at room temperature. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the thicker it gets. 

Remove crème brûlée from refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Let it sit at room temperature. 

Sprinkle with Haco Swiss caramel sugar 10 minutes before serving. Sugar caramelizes and builds a crust without the use of a torch. This innovative product is natural and contains no additives. 

If using a torch:
For step 2, sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar or sugar in the raw over custard and burn with the torch. 

NOTE: Don’t take the word “burn” too much to heart. The sugar should caramelize to a golden brown. If it gets dark, you will be bitter and it will be “burnt”. You can control this by pulling farther away from the sugar if it looks like it’s caramelizing too fast and too dark. 

Different Vessels for Crème Brûlée:

Ceramic/porcelain/clay containers (ramekins, gratin dishes, sake cups)

Glass containers (shallow jars, shot glasses)

Disposable aluminum cups and mini verrine molds

Edible vessels – tart shells, chocolate cups (no-bake only), chocolate truffle shells (no- bake only)

Succès Biscuit (1 (10” round) – very thin
125 gl egg whites
94 g sugar
106 g almond flour

Crème Brûlée Insert
25 oz frozen disc of crème brûlée (8”) 

Ingredients for Chocolate Mousse
250 g heavy cream
250 g dark chocolate (64% – 75%)
86 g egg yolks
114 g sugar
12 g gelatin sheets, softened in cold water
250 g heavy cream

Procedure for Chocolate Mousse

Prepare your items for cake assembly before starting the mousse. Once the mousse if finished, you must work with it immediately. Bring cream to a gentle boil, remove from heat, add drained gelatin and mix well. Pour over chocolate and emulsify with a whisk. Cool to 98°F. Combine egg yolks and sugar and beat with whisk attachment until it’s pale yellow and airy (ribbon). Fold ribbon into chocolate mix. Whip cream to soft peak and fold into mixture. Use immediately.

Ingredients for Assembling Cake
1 oz Grand Marnier or Cointreau
2 oz Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder
3 oz sliced almonds, toasted (or your nut of choice)


Method of Preparation:

Beat egg whites on med speed. Add sugar slowly to make meringue. Fold in almond flour. Spread thinly and evenly on cake pan. Bake at 390°F for 10 minutes. Rotate if necessary. Bake 2 more minutes or until golden brown and the cake pull off the sides. Cool down to room temperature.

Method of Preparation: 
Set a 9 ½” cake ring over cake board or a sheet pan. A removable bottom pan works well too. Insert succès biscuit into the bottom of the ring or pan. Brush succès with liquor. Have crème brûlée disc in a nearby freezer. Don’t take it out until it’s time to insert it into the mousse.

Method of Preparation:
Prepare your items for cake assembly before starting the mousse. Once the mousse if finished, you must work with it immediately. Bring cream to a gentle boil, remove from heat, add drained gelatin and mix well. Pour over chocolate and emulsify with a whisk. Cool to 98°F. Combine egg yolks and sugar and beat with whisk attachment until it’s pale yellow and airy (ribbon). Fold ribbon into chocolate mix. Whip cream to soft peak and fold into mixture. Use immediately.

Method of Preparation:
Pour ½ the mousse into ring, making sure it covers the entire surface. Insert crème brûlée disc into the middle of the mousse, leaving an even margin around the edges so it is perfectly centered. Push down gently so the mousse covers the side of the disc (it will look “encrusted”). Pour the rest of the mousse over it and spread it gently and quickly so the entire disc is covered, the mousse from the top becomes one with the mousse from the bottom and the top looks straight. Freeze for 3 - 4 hours or overnight. Note: The mousse should be a bit runny and not dense. You need to work fast so it sets in the mold and not in the bowl where you mixed it.

Method of Preparation:
Allow the cake to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the ring carefully by warming the sides with a torch. If you don’t have a torch, a hair dryer does the trick. A third option is to let the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so and allow it to warm enough so the ring comes off on its own. Dust the top of the cake with sifted cocoa powder. Crush sliced almonds roughly in your hands. Decorate sides with almonds. Serve.

Cutting Tips

Note: This cake is very rich. It is better to cut thin slices at first and if your guests want more, they can always go for a second slice.

Fill a deep container with hot water. It should be deep enough to cover the blade of the knife you’re using. Dip the knife in hot water, dry quickly with a towel and make your first cut.

Repeat this for every cut. It will give you a very clean slice. If you don’t dip your knife in hot water, each slice will get messier and messier. If you don’t dry the knife prior to cutting, you will get water droplets over the cake.