Chef Martín Rios is known for multi-element desserts that keep his bakers busy incorporating sweet and tart, creamy and crunchy, and, in this case, citrus and chocolate on the same plate. Rios uses the financier, a delicate almond butter cake, and custard as garnishes in this next-level dessert, but you can freeform the recipe. Instead of making the financier, for example, you could use a fancy store-bought cookie. Rios served his with a clementine-verbena granita, but you might substitute lemon sorbet. Other garnish substitutions follow the recipe.
2 egg yolks
¼ cup milk, divided
¼ teaspoon gelatin powder
¼ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
10 leaves basil
10 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 sticks butter
10 tablespoons powdered sugar
11 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons almond flour
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
¼ cup honey
6 egg whites
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
⅞ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons bourbon
A swirl of fruit puree
Chocolate lace cookies
- Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
- Dissolve gelatin in 2 tablespoons of cold milk.
- Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and allow to caramelize over medium heat. Once an amber syrup forms, add the cream, remaining milk, and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly. Remove basil leaves.
- Pour the warm cream over the egg yolks, whisk to combine, and return to the saucepan. Cook over a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat.
- Stir the chocolate and gelatin into the warm cream. Whisk well and pass through a fine sieve. Pour into a plastic-lined square pan with a 6-cup capacity, press a piece of plastic on the top, and chill.
- Brown the butter by heating it in a small pan on low heat, occasionally swirling the pan over the stovetop for about 5 minutes. It will foam at first, but then it will begin to brown. Pour the butter (with milk solids) in a bowl to stop cooking. Let it stand and fully cool.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, both flours, and cocoa powder.
- Add honey, egg whites, and zest. Mix well. With the mixer set to low speed, slowly add the browned butter. Mix well.
- Butter an 8-by-8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Pour mixture into the pan and bake at 350° for about 12 minutes, then turn the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Place all ingredients in a chilled medium mixing bowl and whip until firm peaks form.
- Chill before serving.
Using a knife dipped in warm water, slice the crémeux into six even portions. Place one apiece on serving plates. Cut the financiers into 1-inch cubes and top each crémeux with a piece. (Hide the rest from your guests to enjoy later with tea.) Add a small dollop of the custard next to the financier. Add additional optional garnishes to the plate.