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Oliver's Chocolate Biscuit Stuffed with Raspberry Mousse

Source: Oliver Horion, Oliver's, Montevideo, Uruguay

These lovely fruit-filled chocolate desserts hide two cake layers ? one almond, one chocolate ? plus raspberry mousse inside chocolate bands. They are served with apricot sauce and a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar.

Serves 4

Biscuit Jaconde
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 cups almond powder
5 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Chocolate Marquise
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature,
    cut into tablespoon-size pieces
4 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar

Raspberry Mousse
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 cups raspberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
6 ounces cream cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
2 packets unflavored gelatine

Topping
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Apricot Sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 clove
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/3 cinnamon stick
6 apricots, peeled, pitted and diced

Fruit Garnish
4 kiwi, peeled, sliced and quartered
8 large strawberries, halved
1 orange, segmented and membrane removed from each segment
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
4 mint sprigs

To make the almond biscuit: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine the confectioners' sugar, almond powder and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and set to medium-high. Beat 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the pinch of salt and increase the speed to high. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form.

Remove the almond mixture from the beater and fold in the melted butter and flour. Fold in the egg whites, leaving the batter slightly lumpy. Spread over the prepared pan. Bake 3 to 4 minutes, until firmed. Remove and let cool completely.

To make the marquise: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-inch round springform pan with parchment paper.

In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate. Put the confectioner's sugar and butter pieces in a large bowl. Fold in the melted chocolate, blending as the butter melts. Whisk in the egg yolks.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed to high and slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake is firm and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove and let cool completely in the pan.

To make the mousse: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Pur?e the raspberries in a food processor or blender and strain to remove the seeds.

Combine the sugar, water and raspberry pur?e in a skillet or saut? pan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the gelatine over the pur?e mixture and put back over medium-low heat, stirring gently until the gelatine melts. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Whisk in the cream cheese. Fold in the egg whites. Refrigerate.

To assemble: Cut a 12-inch circle of the almond cake and press over the chocolate cake in the springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Remove from the springform pan and cut into four 4-inch layered discs.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Cover a work surface with wax paper. Cut four 2 1/2-inch wide strips of foil or flexible plastic long enough to circle a cake disk and spread the strips on the prepared work surface. One at a time, using a spatula, spread chocolate across a strip in a thin layer. Let set until the surface loses its shine, then lift the strip and wrap, chocolate-side in, around a cake disc. Leave the foil or plastic in place. Place the wrapped discs on a baking sheet. Fill each almost to the top of the strip with raspberry mousse, leaving the filling rough on top and some space for fruit later. Freeze at least 4 hours.

To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, clove, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the apricots and simmer over low heat until the apricots are tender. When cooked, pick out the clove, vanilla bean pod and cinnamon stick. Blend the sauce until smooth with a stick blender or in a food processor or blender, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to chill.

To serve: Remove the cakes from the freezer and let warm slightly. Carefully peel the foil or plastic away from the chocolate around the cakes and place one cake on each serving plate. Fill the tops with pieces of fruit. Spoon apricot sauce on the plates. Dust each plate with confectioners' sugar. Garnish each with a mint sprig.



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