Popcorn, Orelys chocolate and Sansho pepper mousse cake

by Chiara

Popcorn is a bit of miracle snack, in my opinion! It’s well known as a favorite movie night snack or as a salty, crunchy, delicious topping on some truly decadent sweet treats. I’m mostly a popcorn purist or I like snacking them with some butter and salt. That’s it.
There are actually so many flavor combinations to create with popcorn. Let’s think about caramel or chocolate, the two most popular, interesting matches to make with popcorn. But today I want to share with you guys a recipe that elevates popcorn to a new, delicious level!

This gluten-free popcorn mousse cake is a dreamy indulgence, because it combines both innovative flavors and different textures. In fact, I’ve combined the sweetness of popcorn with the tanginess of passion fruit, the bitterness of dark chocolate and with a particular spice that is called Sansho pepper.
Sansho pepper is one of the typical Japanese spices used in various dishes. Its distinctive feature is the unique refreshing, citrusy and flowery aroma and the light spicy taste. Its taste has really amazed me and if you guys are citrus lovers, you definitely have to try this spice!

The mousse cake is composed from:

  • Gluten-free popcorn, passion fruit and hazelnut croustillant. It’s the crunchy layer at the bottom of the cake and it’s very easy to make. You just have to mix together caramelized maple syrup popcorn, caramelized maple syrup chopped hazelnuts, melted Itakuja 55% dark chocolate (it’s a double-fermented dark chocolate from Valrhona with fresh and tangy passion fruit flavor), melted Caramélia 36% milk chocolate (it’s a milk chocolate from Valrhona with strong notes of salted butter and caramel) and raw hazelnuts butter
  • Gluten-free dark chocolate, passion fruit and hazelnut brownie. This brownie melts literally in the mouth and plus, it is gluten-free! The top is crispy and the inside combines a light, fluffy texture with a rich, chocolatey flavor.
    To make a delightful textural contrast, I’ve swirled the brownie with some drops of melted Orelys 35% blond chocolate mixed with toasted cornflour and raw hazelnuts butter. The blond swirls become in this was crispy and give a nutty, buttery and almost toasty flavor
  • Passion fruit Inspiration and Sansho pepper crémeux. Valrhona has created some new “chocolate” couvertures called Inspiration, which have a veritable fruit flavor and an authentic and bright color ’cause they are composed by fruit or nut puree + cocoa butter + sugar. So, Passion fruit Inspiration has an intense flavor of tangy passionfruit, a vivid and natural yellow color and the smooth texture of chocolate.
    The crémeux is flavored with Sansho pepper which is not actually a pepper but a berry of the prickly ash shrub. Sansho pepper is native to Japan and it has a very fresh floral and like-lemon flavor. It’s not peppery and so, it’s usually used to give a tangy boost to any dish. Be careful, however, that it might be pretty strong, so please do not take too much at a time
  • Orelys 35% blond chocolate, popcorn and vanilla whipped ganache. The whipped ganache has a very fluffy and silky-creamy texture in addition to the warm and addictive taste of popcorn and the faint licorice notes of the Orelys 35% blond chocolate from Valrhona. Thanks to the hearty taste, the whipped ganache contrasts nicely with the freshness of the crémeux.
    The whipped ganache covers the insert composed of two layers of brownie sandwiched together with the Passion fruit Inspiration and Sansho pepper crémeux.
    Make sure not to overwhip the ganache otherwise it will start to separate, become grainy and lose its light and shiny texture
  • Natural-colored white chocolate mirror glaze 

If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram. I’d be more than happy to hear from you and to share your creations on my stories! And, of course, if you have any questions or doubts, I’m absolutely willing to respond you as quickly as possible. ♡



Popcorn, Orelys chocolate and Sansho pepper mousse cake

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Serves: 6-8
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Gluten-free dark chocolate, passion fruit and hazelnut brownie
210 g butter
276 g Itakuja 55% dark chocolate (passion fruit flavored dark chocolate)
5 g (1 tsp) Maldon salt
216 g egg whites, to room temperature
138 g cane sugar
144 g egg yolks, to room temperature
36 g farina Bóna (toasted cornflour)
60 g hazelnut flour
topping:
100 g Orelys 35% blond chocolate (white chocolate with Mascobado sugar)
50 g raw hazelnuts butter
20 g farina Bóna (toasted cornflour)

Gluten-free popcorn, passion fruit and hazelnut croustillant
20 g unsalted popcorn
40 g maple syrup grade C
16 g finely chopped hazelnuts
16 g maple syrup grade C
47 g Itakuja 55% dark chocolate (passion fruit flavored dark chocolate)
47 g Caramélia 36% milk chocolate (caramelized milk chocolate)
40 g raw hazelnuts butter
2,5 g (½ tsp) Maldon salt

Passion fruit Inspiration and Sansho pepper crémeux
100 g passion fruit puree
6 g acacia honey
3 g gelatin sheets, gold strength (200 Bloom)
15 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
156 g Passion fruit Inspiration couverture
200 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold
6 g Sansho pepper

Popcorn, farina Bóna and almond milk brew (for the whipped ganache)
320 g unsweetened almond milk
180 g heavy cream 35% fat content
45 g unsalted popcorn
20 g farina Bóna (toasted cornflour)

Orelys 35% blond chocolate, popcorn and vanilla whipped ganache
210 g popcorn, farina Bóna (toasted cornflour) and almond milk brew (recipe above)
300 g Orelys 35% blond chocolate (white chocolate with Mascobado sugar)
2 g gelatin sheets gold strength (200 Bloom)
10 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
312 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold
2 vanilla beans

Natural-colored Ivoire 35% white chocolate mirror glaze
115 g water
100 g caster sugar
115 g trehalose sugar (or caster sugar)
215 g glucose syrup DE 40
12,5 g gelatin sheets gold strength (200 Bloom)
63 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
260 g Ivoire 35% white chocolate
100 g Absolu Cristal (neutral gelatin)
2,5 g (½ tsp) Blue Butterfly Pea (natural food coloring)
3,75 g (¾ tsp) edible silver dust powder

Assembly and decoration
Ivoire 35% white chocolate flexible band, tempered and light-blue colored
Ivoire 35% white chocolate spheres
Dulcey 32% blond chocolate spheres
Dulcey 32% blond chocolate curl
Opalys 34% white chocolate crunchy pearls
edible silver dust powder
edible gold dust powder
edible alcohol
edible flowers

Instructions

Gluten-free dark chocolate, passion fruit and hazelnut brownie

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, static. Grease a 32,5 x 32,5 cm silicone swiss roll mat (Silikomart tapis roulade) and place it on a baking tray.
  2. Make the topping: melt Orelys 35% chocolate in the microwave to 45°C. Add the hazelnuts butter and stir with a spatula. Add the toasted cornflour and stir until obtain a creamy, smooth consistency or until a ribbon forms. When you lift a portion of the topping, it should falls from the spatula in a slightly thick, solid ribbon that disappears into the topping quite slowly. If it appears too thick or fluid, add in some grape seed oil or toasted cornflour, respectively. Set the topping aside.
  3. Melt butter and dark chocolate in the microwave then add salt and stir with a rubber spatula to obtain a smooth, evenly mixture. Set aside to cool down. The chocolate-butter mixture should be slightly warm, not hot to the touch once the egg yolks are added.
  4. In the meantime, whip the egg whites until they become foamy and frothy. When a light, soft foam is formed, add in the cane sugar in 3 times. Once all the sugar is added, whip until obtain a shiny and thick meringue.
  5. Once the chocolate-butter mixture is lukewarm (about 35°C), add yolks and whisk until combined.
  6. Gently incorporate the meringue into the batter with a scooping-and-folding motion. This method will prevent the air in the meringue from deflating and so, the brownie will rise a little in the oven and inside it will be fluffy and almost cakey. And plus, the crispy crust will form on top.
  7. Sieve over the toasted cornflour, add the hazelnut flour and fold gently with the spatula until just incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into the greased silicone mat and spread it out evenly with a palette knife, so that it is level with the top of the mat (I mean, 1 cm high, as the height of the silicone mat). Drop the topping in teaspoon-size dollops over the brownie batter, spacing them evenly apart (about 2 cm), and swirl using a toothpick.
    Bake for about 20 minutes or until the brownie is puffed and a a thin crust is formed on top of the brownie.
    Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into two discs with a 16 cm cake ring. Wrap the discs with clingfilm and freeze until needed.

Gluten-free popcorn, passion fruit and hazelnut croustillant

  1. Preheat the oven to 155°C, ventilation mode. Line a perforated baking tray with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a bowl combine together popcorn with 40 g of maple syrup, stirring well with a spatula to coat the popcorn with the maple syrup. Spread the mix onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until the popcorn are slightly golden and the maple syrup is caramelized and slightly reduced. Stir the popcorn occasionally in order to allow the maple syrup to crystallize evenly.
    Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
  3. Repeat the same step with the chopped hazelnut and the 16 g maple syrup.
  4. Melt the chocolates in the microwave to 45°C. Add the hazelnut butter and stir well with a rubber spatula until obtain a smooth and evenly mixture. Add popcorn, chopped hazelnut and salt and stir well with the spatula to obtain a grainy mixture.
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place on top a 16 cm stainless steel cake ring. Spread the croustillant into the ring, ensuring to make an evenly layer of about 5 mm thick. Lift up the ring and freeze until needed.

Passion fruit Inspiration and Sansho pepper crémeux

  1. The day before, pour the heavy cream into a bowl, add the Sansho pepper and cover the bowl with clingfilm. Chill overnight (24h) to allow to infuse. The next day, strain the heavy cream through a sieve to discard the pepper. Reweigh the strained heavy cream and, if need be, add more cream to obtain 200 g.
  2. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  3. Melt the Passion fruit Inspiration couverture in the microwave to 45°C
  4. Heat together passion fruit puree and glucose in the microwave without boiling, then add the soaked gelatin sheets and stir with a spatula to dissolve the gelatin.
  5. Add the hot passion fruit puree to the melted couverture in three times, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula in a circular pattern to obtain a smooth, evenly cream.
  6. Transfer the cream into a mixing glass and emulsify with a hand blender for stabilizing the emulsion and to obtain a smooth consistency. Add slowly and to wire the cold heavy cream flavored with Sansho pepper, blending contemporarily with the hand blender without adding air bubbles.
  7. Pour the crémeux into a 16 cm round silicone cake mould, about 2 cm thick and freeze for at least 2-3h.
    Once the crémeux is frozen, place the disc between two discs of brownie and freeze this insert again until the assemblage of the cake.

Popcorn, farina Bóna and almond milk brew (for the whipping ganache)

  1. In large a bowl combine together unsalted popcorn and toasted cornflour.
  2. Heat the almond milk with the heavy cream until simmer. Pour over the popcorn and the toasted cornflour and blend with a hand blender to break up the popcorn and obtain an almost smooth mixture.
  3. Cover with clingfilm and chill overnight (12h).
  4. The next morning, strain the mix through a sieve and reweigh it to obtain 210 g. This brew will serve for the whipped ganache.

Orelys 35% blond chocolate, popcorn and vanilla whipped ganache

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  2. Melt Orelys chocolate in the microwave to 45°C.
  3. Scrape the vanilla beans and add the seeds to the popcorn brew. Heat this in the microwave without boiling. Add the soaked gelatin sheets and stir with a spatula to dissolve the gelatin.
  4. Add the hot liquid to the melted chocolate in three times, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula in a circular pattern to obtain a smooth and silky ganache.
  5. Transfer the ganache into a mixing glass and emulsify with a hand blender for stabilizing the emulsion.
  6. Add slowly and to wire the cold heavy cream, blending contemporarily with the hand blender.
  7. Pour the ganache into a baking dish, cover with clingfilm pressed on top and chill overnight (12h).
  8. Transfer the cold ganache in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip the ganache on medium-high speed until medium peaks forms. The whipped ganache holds its shape well but is still soft and creamy. When you lift out the whisk, peak will form but the tip will fold back on itself. If you over-whip the ganache it will start to separate, to become grainy and to lose its shiny and silken texture.
  9. Place a 18 x 5 cm round silicone cake mould over a baking tray and wrap the side of the mould with an acetate strip of 7 cm high. This strip serves to increase the height of the mould because the original 5 cm aren't enough to include all the prepared ingredients
  10. Pour a little of whipped ganache into the mould. Use a teaspoon to spread the whipped ganache up the sides of the acetate strip to eliminate any air bubbles and to avoid whitespace. Set inside the brownie-crémeux insert and press it gently and slightly down so that it is almost submerged in the whipped ganache. Cover the insert with other whipped ganache, ensuring to leave a gap for the croustillant.
    Place the croustillant on top of the whipped ganache (with the smooth side upwards) and press it gently down until the croustillant is level with the top of the acetate strip. Remove any excess whipped ganache with a small palette knife and freeze for about 3-4h in a domestic freezer or about 1-2h in a blast freezer.

Natural-colored Ivoire 35% white chocolate mirror glaze 

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water (63 g) for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave to 45°C and pour into a mixing glass.
  3. Heat water (115 g), caster sugar, trehalose sugar and glucose syrup in a saucepan to 104°C.
  4. Remove from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate. Emulsify with a hand blender without adding air bubbles and in order to obtain a smooth and shiny glaze.
  5. Heat the Absolu Cristal in the microwave to 65°C and add into the glaze, followed by the drained gelatin sheets (add both the gelatin and the soaked water). Emulsify once more without adding air bubbles. Finally add both the natural food coloring and the edible silver dust powder and emulsify once again.
  6. Pass the glaze through a sieve and pour into a baking dish. Cover with clingfilm pressed on top of the glaze and chill in the fridge for at least 12h or overnight.
  7. Heat the glaze in the microwave to 45°C then pour into a mixing glass and emulsify with the hand blender. Keep the blade of the hand blender on the bottom of the mixing glass, to avoid air bubbles. Allow to cool down to 32-35°C. If you directly melt the glaze to 32-35°C, it will not be shiny and glossy.
  8. Once the glaze is 32-35°C, unmould the frozen mousse cake and set on a 14 cm stainless steel cake ring with a pair of clingfilm sheets underneath, to collect the excess glaze. Cover the cake with the glaze at 32-35°C. Wipe off any excess glaze on top of the cake with a large flat palette knife, angling it slightly and lifting it up at the edge. When the glaze stops dripping, remove any excess glaze from the base with a small sharp knife. Place the finished cake onto a plate and place in the fridge.

Assembly and decoration

  1. For the flexible chocolate band, the chocolate spheres and the chocolate curl you have to temper both the Ivoire 35% white chocolate (natural and light-blue colored) and the Dulcey 32% blond chocolate.
    I use the tabling method but you can follow the method you prefer. The tempering curve you need to follow is: 45°C (melting) - 26-27°C (cooling) - 28-29°C (the temperature of usage).
  2. Make the flexible chocolate band as described here.
  3. Make the chocolate spheres as described here. Once you have made them, brush the Dulcey 32% chocolate spheres with some gold dust powder previously mixed with edible alcohol and brush the Ivoire 35% chocolate spheres with some silver dust powder previously mixed with edible alcohol.
  4. Make the Dulcey chocolate curls. Place an acetate strip approximately 4 cm in width on a flat bench surface. Drizzle some tempered Dulcey chocolate onto the acetate strip and comb through the couverture with a plastic decorating comb. It has silicone teeth to ensure that clean lines are created. The teeth are set 2mm apart on one side, 3mm apart on the other. I've used the 2mm side.
    Leave the acetate strip on the flat bench surface to set, just until it is set enough to touch. As the chocolate starts to set, twist the acetate strip on itself to create curls.
    Allow to set completely at room temperature. Keep in mind that you will get a better gloss on your chocolate if you leave it for up to an hour (preferably overnight) at room temperature (18-22°C) before removing the acetate.
  5. Coat the white chocolate crunchy pearls with both the silver dust powder and the gold dust powder.
  6. Garnish one side of the mousse cake with all the prepared elements.

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