Chocolate and orange are soulmates. They were destined to be together. As remarkable as chocolate (especially dark chocolate) is by itself, when paired with orange, its best qualities are brought out, the cocoa flavours are deeper and more complex, and the orange adds a tangy sweetness that balances out the slight bitterness of cocoa.
I’ll admit, when people tell me they don’t like chocolate and orange I look at them funny and secretly think what’s wrong with you! But you know what, I think if you’ve never been a fan of chocolate and orange, that maybe you just haven’t had anything with this flavour combination that blew you away.
I’ve had a few chocolate and orange desserts that’s blown me away, including the chocolate, mandarin and salted caramel petit gateau from Burch & Purchese in Melbourne. The dessert I’m about to share with you is similar to this one, and two of the components are from Darren Purchese’s book Sweet Studio. I didn’t put salted caramel in mine but feel free to do so if you like.
If this is the first time you’re making petits gateaux or entremets, don’t worry it’s not as hard as it looks. They do take a bit of planning and practice, but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll realise how easy it is to come up with your own flavour combinations. My advice with petits gateaux and entremets is to keep it simple. It’s great to have a few different textures and flavours in there as that’s what entremets are all about, but you don’t want to have so many components in there that they get lost. Keep it simple with garnishes and decorations as well. You want to make sure you are also showcasing the nice shiny glaze or the velvety cocoa spray.
This dessert has 5 components (not including the garnishes):
- Burnt Orange Cream
- Chocolate Sponge
- Chocolate Mousse
- Cocoa Sablé
- Chocolate Mirror Glaze
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but if you make one or two components at a time over the course of a couple of days it won’t feel like you’ve spent the whole day in the kitchen. For entremets and petits gateaux I always start with the middle component(s) as it needs to be frozen first, and I like to leave the glazing and decorating as a task on its own, usually the morning of the next day, and always on the day I plan on eating it.
The burnt orange cream and mirror glaze recipes are from the book Sweet Studio by Darren Purchese, and the remaining components are from the book Patisserie by William and Suzue Curley. I’ve included the recipe for the meringue kisses I used to decorate on the top of the dessert at the end of this post, if you would like to do the same, but I encourage you to decorate however you like, and what reflects your personality.
Makes 8-10 petits gateaux depending on size of moulds.
Burnt Orange Cream
75g egg yolks, beaten (approx. 4 yolks)
50g caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
250g thickened cream
4g gold leaf gelatin sheets
Chocolate sponge (this will make 2 or 3 times more than you need for this recipe, but it's easier to make a large batch and you can freeze what you don't need and use another time - see notes below)
200g whole eggs (approx. 4 eggs)
50g egg yolks (approx. 3 yolks)
80g caster sugar
25g plain flour
25g corn flour
30g cocoa powder
100g unsalted butter
275ml thickened cream
30g egg yolks (approx. 2 yolks)
15g caster sugar
160g dark chocolate (I used Callebaut Dark Chocolate with 54.5% cocoa solids)
Cocoa Sablé (same as the chocolate sponge, this will make 2 or 3 times more than you need - see notes below)
250g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
100g whole eggs (approx. 2 eggs)
425g plain flour
75g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Mirror Glaze
180g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder
105g thickened cream
11g gold leaf gelatin sheets
Silicone moulds, I used Silikomart Stone silicone mould 30mm x 65mm (see notes below)
Silicone moulds for the orange disc inside, I used Silikomart Petit Fours 40mm Mould (see notes below)
- To make the burnt orange cream. Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced (or 200°C conventional). Soak the gelatine in a bowl of ice cold water for about 3 minutes until softened. Squeeze out the excess water and keep in the fridge until required. Combine all other ingredients except cream in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to scramble the eggs. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the cream. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes. When you can see browning starting to appear on top of the mixture, remove from the oven. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the softened gelatine. Blend on low speed until smooth. Pour mixture into the petit fours moulds, cover with cling film and freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- To make the sponge. Preheat oven to 170°C fan forced (or 190C conventional), line two 30x40cm baking trays with baking paper. Using a stand mixer, whisk the whole eggs and yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy, about 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside. Once the eggs are at ribbon stage, sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and fold in. Take about a cup of the egg and flour mixture and mix it into the melted butter. Pour the butter mixture back into main mixture and fold until just combined. Spread mixture on to prepared trays and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Once cooled, cut out discs with a 4cm round cutter and keep in a container until ready for assembly (you only need to cut out as many as you need - 1 per gateaux).
- To make the mirror glaze. Soak the gelatine in a bowl of ice cold water for about 3 minutes until softened. Squeeze out excess water and keep in fridge until required. In a saucepan, mix the sugar and the sifted cocoa powder together. Make a well and add the water, stirring to make a paste. Be sure to stir around the edges of the saucepan to ensure all the cocoa powder is mixed in. Add the cream to the saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture reaches the boil, continue to cook the mixture for 3 minutes, stirring the entire time. Take the pan off the heat and add the softened gelatine. Strain the glaze into a clean plastic container and refrigerate until required.
- To make sablé. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sifted icing sugar on medium until smooth, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Beat eggs into the butter, one at a time, starting on low and then speeding up to medium. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients into the butter and egg mixture. As soon as it's incorporated stop mixing (do not overmix as this will develop gluten which you don't want for this pastry). Split the dough into 2, wrap each in cling film and rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight. Line baking trays with baking paper. Roll the dough out into a thickness of about 3mm, cut out discs with a 6.5cm cutter and place on trays, about 2cm apart. Rest in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced (or 180C conventional), bake on prepared trays for 10-12 minutes.
- To make mousse. Once you have all the components ready to go, then make the mousse, as the mousse needs to be used immediately or it will set. Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl, and sit a strainer on top. Put 75ml of the cream and the milk in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. While the milk mixture is boiling, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together in a separate bowl until light in colour, about 2-3 minutes. Once the milk mixture has boiled, stream half of this into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg and sugar mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of spoon. Be careful not to scramble the eggs. If you start to see bits of egg cooking, take off the heat immediately and stir vigorously. Take the pan off the heat and pour into the strainer sitting over the chocolate. Stir until smooth and chocolate has melted completely. Leave the chocolate custard aside to cool slightly. Whip cream to soft peaks and fold into the slightly cooled chocolate custard.
- To assemble. As with many entremets and petits gateaux, we're working upside down, so the first things to go in the mould are the components you want at the top, and the last thing you put in will be at the bottom. Pour chocolate mousse into the petits gateaux moulds, fill about half way. Using a palette knife, spread the mousse up the sides of the mould so that the entire mould is covered in mousse. Place a frozen orange disc into the mould, on top of the mousse, pressing slightly into the mousse. Pour more mousse into the moulds until almost full, then press a disc of the sponge into the mould. Level the moulds with a palette knife, cover with cling film and freeze overnight.
- To glaze. Heat the mirror glaze in the microwave on high, in 30 second intervals until at pourable consistency, stirring in between intervals. Cool the glaze until it reaches 35-40°C.While the glaze is cooling, prepare the gateaux for glazing. Line a large baking tray with cling film or baking paper (this is to catch the glaze drips so you can reuse again if desired). Push the frozen gateaux out of their moulds and place on a baking rack. Sit the rack on the prepared tray and put it back into the freezer until the glaze has cooled to the right temperature. Once the glaze is at 35-40°C, pour into a measuring jug. Take the frozen gateaux out of the freezer. Pour the glaze over the top of each gateaux, starting at the centre of the gateaux, circling around towards the edges of the gateaux. Take a photo now as the glaze will be super shiny! Once the glaze is set and has stopped dripping off the gateaux, use a small palette knife and slide it under each gateaux, very carefully lift each gateaux off the rack and onto a piece of cocoa sable. Slide the palette knife out from under the gateaux very carefully. Use a another palette knife or a table knife to help slide the gateaux off the palette knife. Decorate as desired.
The glaze is at its shiniest as soon as it is just poured on to the frozen gateaux. Best to glaze on the day you are planning on eating it to maximise the shine!
Use the glaze between 35 and 40°C. If you wait until it cools down even further, it might still be pourable but you will end up with a thicker glaze, and I personally hate the taste of thick glaze as it tastes like gelatine. You only want a thin coating of the glaze, use a flat palette knife to push gently excess glaze off the top of the gateaux if necessary.
Glaze when the gateaux are completely frozen. Don't take it out to thaw and then glaze, it's much easier (and neater) to glaze this way.
You can use any moulds you like. If you're looking to buy moulds, you can find them online (e.g., Amazon, Fishpond). I've bought many of my moulds from Savour School.
The recipes for the chocolate sponge and cocoa sable are for way more than you need for making these petit gateauxs, but I find it easier to make larger batches of these and freeze what I don't need. You can freeze for up to a month. If you don't want to do this, then just half the recipe.
Additional Recipe: Meringue Kisses
Makes approximately 200 small kisses or stars
- 90 g egg whites (approx. 3 egg whites)
- 150g caster sugar
- Before you start, wipe your stand mixer bowl with a paper towel dabbed with a bit of vinegar to get rid of any grease or detergent residue. Make sure your bowl is completely dry.
- Put the egg whites and sugar in the mixing bowl and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is hot to touch, whisking while heating up the egg whites.
- With a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and sugar on high until the mixture reaches stiff peaks and has cooled to room temperature and is no long warm to touch. Add colour or flavouring if desired at this stage.
- Spoon meringue into piping bag fitted with a star nozzle if piping stars (I used Wilton 1M nozzle) and pipe meringues on baking trays lined with baking paper.
- Bake in 80°C fan forced (or 100C conventional) oven for 1.5 hours until completely dried out. Alternatively, leave it in an oven that has just been turned off over night. If it is cooked at a higher temperature, it will crack. You just want enough heat to dry it out and no more.
- Meringues can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.