Post updated April 2016: recipe tweaked, domes re-made and re-photographed
One of the great joys for me when having Afternoon Tea, in addition to eating the most delectable sweet and savoury treats, is the inspiration I get. I shared one of these entremets as part of an Afternoon Tea a while ago and was blown away by it, not least by the raspberry explosion inside! I could not wait to try to recreate these domes at home and I have since made them many times.
These domes have a Framboise-soaked sponge base, a luscious dark chocolate mousse and an intense sweet-sharpness of raspberry mousse. The tuile/crisp and Framboise-soaked raspberry on top are optional but add texture and further sharpness, respectively. Once glazed, the domes will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
They might look difficult but each component is actually quite easy, with the domes more about the assembly: see below.
Lower-fat, lower-sugar, gluten-free but very indulgent!
I used gluten-free plain flour in the sponge and the tuiles. As I am trying to cut down on sugar and fat, I used only a little added sugar (and there is also very little in each sponge base).
I also cut out the cream and butter in the mousse and the glaze, opting for semi-skimmed milk instead: personally I didn’t miss the cream and the butter in this (and I am my harshest critic!). I have also made these with natural yoghurt which gives a lovely sharp tang.
The verdict from those who ate them, who had not initially been told these were healthier, was that they do not taste like “better for you” desserts! As should be the case!
Varying the flavours
These can be made with any fruit mousse in the centre: orange is magnificent (boil the grated zest and juice of 3 large oranges until syrupy in place of the raspberries in my recipe below); a mango and lime mousse is quite sublime………
Instead of a sponge base, use crushed biscuits mixed with melted butter and/or chocolate for a very quick alternative.
An assembly job!
These domes are not actually as hard as they might look: the individual parts (sponge, frozen mousse centre, chocolate mousse) are quite easy, and can be made in advance: the raspberry mousse and the sponge can be frozen until needed: and you could always use a bought sponge!
It is very much a matter of assembly, which does not actually take that long: most of the time is waiting for the domes to freeze. The sponge, raspberry mousse and tuiles can be made in advance, with the sponge and raspberry mousse kept frozen until needed.
The assembled domes get frozen so they can be turned out perfectly for glazing. Once glazed they are refrigerated to thaw out; they hold their shape as they thaw in the fridge, giving a luxuriously soft moussey texture.
Suggested order of making:
- sponge: cool, cut out and freeze. When I make a whisked sponge I often scale up the ingredients to make an extra layer, which I freeze for instant use in desserts, trifles and the like.
- raspberry mousse: takes about 15 minutes to make. Freeze them in moulds. The amount given in the recipe makes many more than you need here, but they can stay in the freezer until wanting to be used.
- tuiles: totally optional, they only take about 10 minutes to make, plus time for the unbaked mixture to firm up. Store the baked tuiles in airtight containers (not in the fridge). The amount makes more than you need for these domes.
- chocolate mousse: takes about 5 minutes to make, plus cooling time
- mirror glaze: takes about 5 minutes to make, plus cooling time. This also makes more than you need, but the surplus can be refrigerated in an airtight container and heated gently to melt it. Just let it cool before pouring over.
Recipe: raspberry & dark chocolate mousse domes – makes 8
Any whisked sponge cake, sprinkled generously with Framboise and cut to the size of the top of large hemi-spherical cake moulds. I use one single layer, cut in half horizontally to give thin sponge discs for these domes. It also works excellently with a shortbread base (the recipe for shortbread is here.)
The recipe for a basic whisked sponge is on my main cakes post here.
- 150g raspberries, puréed
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 20g caster sugar
- 1 sheet gelatine, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and squeezed of excess water
- 1 tablespoon Framboise liqueur
- 30ml semi-skimmed milk (or double cream)
- 1 tablespoon dried raspberry powder (optional but adds extra raspberry intensity)
(1) Heat the raspberry purée in a saucepan until very hot but not boiling. In a small heatproof bowl, whisk the egg, sugar and raspberry powder until very pale and light. Pour the hot raspberries and the framboise into the egg mixture and stir to incorporate.
(2) Place the bowl over a pan of barely simming water and whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture just starts to thicken and hold its shape: don’t over-heat.
(3) Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine and the milk until they are incorporated. Pour into small silicone molds, such as cake pop moulds or even ice cube trays, although any shape will do. Freeze until solid.
- 180g best quality dark chocolate, at least 70% solids
- 1.5 sheets gelatine, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and squeezed of excess water
- 180ml semi-skimmed milk
- 220ml double cream, whipped just to the soft peak stage
(1) Bring the milk just to simmering point and remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatine. Pour the milk into the chocolate, a little at a time, stirring well to give a shiny mixture.
(2) Leave to cool but not fully set before folding in the cream.
Chocolate mirror glaze:
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk (or double cream)
- 100ml water
- 90g caster sugar
- 40g cocoa powder
- 2 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
(1) Put the milk, water, sugar and cocoa powder into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time and let it simmer gently for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically.
(2) Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and stir it into the mixture until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool at room temperature until it is just starting to thicken (to the consistency of pouring cream). NB: don’t be tempted to stir with any vigour as you do not want to get air bubbles in the glaze
- 20g butter
- 15g water
- 40g icing sugar
- 15g plain flour
- 7g cocoa powder
(1) Melt the butter and water together in a small bowl in the microwave. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until you have a very smooth batter. Refrigerate for a few hours to firm up. You can mix in some cocoa nibs too, which adds extra crunch and flavour.
(2) Preheat the oven to 175C(fan) and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or, ideally, a silicon sheet. Spread spoonfuls of the batter thinly on the baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes: you don’t need to be at all precise here as the baked and cooled tuiles will be snapped to give random shards. NB: watch them closely after 4 minutes so they don’t burn; they should be bubbling and have a rough aerated texture, resembling brandy snaps!
(3) As soon as they come out of the oven, use a palette knife to lift each piece onto a cooling rack until they have cooled and are crisp. Snap them into random shards. Alternatively, lift the hot pieces of tuile onto a rolling pin to set into a curved shape. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
(1) Place the hemi-spherical dome moulds on a baking tray and either spoon or pipe the chocolate mousse into the base of the moulds to about half deep. Place the frozen raspberry mousse on top, flat side facing upwards: gently press it a little into the mousse.
(2) Top with a little more chocolate mousse and lay a piece of the liqueur-soaked sponge on top, patting down gently into the mousse. It should come just to about the top of the mould. Freeze overnight and remove them from the moulds. Return to the freezer on a tray lined with greaseproof until ready to pour over the mirror glaze. NB: they will keep happily in the freezer for several weeks.
(3) When the chocolate mirror glaze has cooled and just started to thicken, take the cakes out of the freezer and place them, sponge-side down, on a wire rack with a baking tray or sheet of greaseproof underneath to catch the drips. Using a ladle pour over the cooled mirror glaze and carefully put in the fridge. NB: check the domes after a couple of minutes of being in the fridge. As they were frozen when the glaze went on, the sudden change in temperature on the glaze might result in a dull finish rather than a shiny one; if so, remove from the fridge and add another pouring of the glaze.
(4) Keep the domes in the fridge until the glaze has set – this takes about 30 minutes. Use a palette knife to carefully transfer the desserts to small individual cake boards, decorate each with a drained Framboise-soaked raspberry and return the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, place a tuile shard on top (if you add it too soon it will go soft) with perhaps gold decoration of some sort such as edible gold leaf or a dusting of edible lustre.
A cylindrical version
You can make these in any moulds but they look lovely made in cylindrical tin moulds (cut pieces of plastic pipe work very well!):
- lay clingfilm on a baking tray and place the cylindrical moulds on top
- place acetate (or greaseproof) inside each, pushed up against the moulds, which helps get the entremets out of the mould later
- spoon a little mousse into the bottom of each cylinder, followed by the frozen raspberry mousse
- top with more mousse and finally the sponge, cut to size. Press down gently and freeze overnight
- remove the frozen entremets from their cylinders – the acetate will help them slide out – and peel off the acetate. Place them back in the freezer until you are ready to glaze them, as in the recipe