Alphonse Mucha - Chocolate Amatller Barcelona Centenario
Chocolate Amatller Barcelona Centenario
Alphonse Mucha
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La Belle Cuisine - More Chocolate Treats

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   Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create an act of integrity, and faith."


Cocolat's Chocolate Banana Charlotte


"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE."
Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"



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  Georg Dionysius Ehret - Banana Tree
Banana Tree
Georg Dionysius Ehret
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Steinlen, Henri
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  Isaac Maimon - Cafe Caffe
Cafe Caffe
Isaac Maimon
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Chocolate Banana Charlotte

Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts
Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts

by Alice Medrich, 1990, Warner Books

Serves 10-12

“Bananas are simply not given their due. They make a seriously delicious and sophisticated dessert buried in Chocolate Rum Mousse and surrounded by old-fashioned ladyfingers.
Don’t pass up this recipe because you dread the usually fussy and time-consuming task of lining a mold with ladyfingers. The professional trick of making them in one continuous strip reduces the task to child’s play.”

1/3 cup plus 2 - 3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 - 2 ripe bananas
8-inch springform or cheesecake pan with removable bottom, lined, bottom and sides, with Ladyfingers (recipe follows)
Chocolate Velvet Mousse (recipe follows)
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings (optional)
Bright-colored ribbon (optional)

Special Equipment:
Pastry bag fitted with closed star tip (Ateco #9)

1.  Combine 1/3 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cold water in a very small saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 1-2 minutes, to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool. Stir in rum; set aside.
2.  Slice bananas about 1/2 inch thick. Pour the rum syrup over them; set aside for at least 15 minutes, or until needed.
3.  Drain the bananas, reserving the syrup. Using a pastry brush, moisten all of the inside surfaces of the ladyfingers in the mold with the reserved rum syrup. Place drained pieces of banana all over the bottom of the lined mold, overlapping if necessary.
4.  Make Chocolate Velvet Mousse. Turn immediately into lined pan. Chill for at least 3-4 hours, until set. Dessert may be completed to this point, wrapped, and refrigerated in the mold, up to 2 days in advance.
5.  Whip cream with vanilla and remaining 2-3 tablespoons sugar until fairly stiff. Scrape whipped cream into pastry bag. Pipe decorative swirls all over mousse so that it peaks up and above the ladyfingers. Decorate with chocolate shavings, if desired. Dessert may be completed up to 12 hours in advance of serving. Refrigerate in a covered container until needed. Do not freeze. Remove the sides of the mold and transfer the charlotte to a serving platter. If desired, tie a pretty ribbon around the dessert to present.


Makes enough to line one 8-inch mold

3/4 cup (2 2/3 ounces) sifted cake flour
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Large baking sheet
Parchment paper to line the baking sheet, traced with a 6 x 12-inch
rectangle and one 7-inch circle

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F]. Turn traced parchments upside down on baking sheets so that the tracing can be seen, but so that the pencil or ink will not transfer onto the ladyfingers.
2.  Place the sifted flour in a strainer, set over a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla by hand, until pale and thick.
3.  In a separate clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry. By hand, with the largest rubber spatula you own, fold one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Scrape half of the remaining whites onto the batter and sift half of the flour over them. Carefully fold in the whites and flour to retain stiffness and volume. Repeat the process, scraping the remaining whites onto the batter, sifting in the rest of the flour, and folding again. Scrape the batter into the pastry bag.
4.  Place parchment-lined baking sheet in front of you. Pipe parallel ladyfingers quite close to each other – only 1/4 to 3/8 inches apart – within the rectangular guideline traced on the parchment. Each one will be about 6 inches long. Ladyfingers may be piped straight or slanted at an angle, depending on the desired effect. Ladyfingers will spread and touch each other during baking. This is correct. Make a disk, or layer, by piping or spreading remaining batter within traced 7-inch circle. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over ladyfingers and disks. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Cool in the pan on a rack. Ladyfingers may be made a day in advance. Wrap and store at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 months.
5.  Have ready the 8-inch springform or cheesecake pan and the baked, cooled ladyfingers still attached to the parchment paper. Cut the 12-inch strip of ladyfingers in half lengthwise to make two 12-inch strips each 3 inches wide. Turn ladyfingers upside down. Peel away parchment paper. Line the inside sides of the pan with the strips of attached ladyfingers by fitting first one strip (cut side of strip against the bottom of pan, rounded ends of the ladyfingers pointing upward) and then the second, around the insides of the pan. The curved surface of the ladyfingers should touch the sides of the pan while the flat surface faces inward. Trim if necessary to make a tight fit where the two strips meet each other. (The ladyfingers will usually flex and curve where each one joins the other. If they are very crisp and tend to break apart, turn to the charlotte recipe that you are making and brush the back, flat sides of the ladyfinger strips with the liquor mixture before lining the mold. Moistening the ladyfingers may help to soften the strips. In any case, if the ladyfingers break apart, go ahead and line the pan with them anyway – when the filling is poured the ladyfingers will be held nicely in place.) Line the bottom of the mold with the 7-inch ladyfinger disk, trimmed to fit if necessary.

Chocolate Velvet Mousse

Makes about 4 1/2 cups

12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into bits
2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee (not freeze-dried),
dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Curaçao or rum
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Melt chocolate, dissolved coffee, and Curaçao or rum in a medium bowl set in a barely simmering pan of water. Stir frequently to hasten melting. Or, melt in a microwave on medium (50%) for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. When mixture is warm and smooth, whisk in egg yolks and combine well. Remove from heat and set aside.
2.  In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in 2 tablespoons sugar, beating on high speed until stiff but not dry. Fold one-fourth of the egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Scrape all of the remaining whites on top of mousse and set aside while you beat the cream. Beat cream until it holds its shape (do not beat until stiff).
3.  Scrape whipped cream over egg whites and chocolate. Fold together just until incorporated. Turn the mousse immediately into lined mold [as
instructed above].

Egg Safety Information

Featured Archive Recipe:
 Chocolate Banana Rum Torte

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