When you give flavor ideas to a chef, each chef will come back with something a little different. This dessert duo is my interpretation of tiramisú, presented in a very different way. The glass holds a Mascarpone Mousse paired with more assertive elements: a dark chocolate mousse and a very strong espresso granité. I don’t use ladyfingers—instead, I serve a little napoleon on the side, made with chocolate phyllo triangles and alternating layers of Chocolate Mousse and Coffee Pastry Cream.
Special Equipment: Eight 8-ounce shot glasses; coffee filter; 2 medium, plain pastry tips (Ateco #6).
Perfect Pairing: Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur, Italy
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from Payard Desserts by Francois Payard with Tish Boyle. Photography by Rogerio Voltan. Copyright 2013.
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (500 g/17.6 oz) water
- 1 cup (60 g/2.1 oz) ground espresso beans
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g/2.6 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) coffee extract
- ½ cup plus 2½ tablespoons (130 g/4.6 oz) granulated sugar
- 4 large (74 g/2.6 oz) egg yolks
- 4 large (120 g/4.2 oz) egg whites
- 2 cups (500 g/17.6 oz) mascarpone cheese
- 2 cups (484 g/17 oz) whole milk
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (24 g/0.8 oz) instant coffee powder
- ½ cup (100 g/3.5 oz) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (40 g/1.4 oz) cornstarch
- 5 large (93 g/3.3 oz) egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (14 g/0.5 oz) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (180 g/6.3 oz) heavy cream
- 7 tablespoons (100 g/3.5 oz) Clarified Butter
- ¼ cup (32 g/1.1 oz) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
- 8 (9-inch by 14-inch) sheets phyllo dough
- Cocoa powder, for sprinkling
- For the Coffee Granité: In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the ground espresso. Cover the pan and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a coffee filter into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and coffee extract, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan or shallow container and freeze for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
- When ready to serve, use a fork to scrape the coffee block to form the granité.
- For the Mascarpone Mousse: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g/2.6 oz) of the granulated sugar with the egg yolks by hand. Place the bowl over a pot filled one-third of the way with simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the yolk mixture has thickened and is hot to the touch. Place the bowl on the mixer stand and, using the whisk attachment, whip the mixture on high speed until completely cool. Set aside.
- In another clean bowl of a stand mixer, using a clean whisk attachment, whip the whites on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup plus ½ tablespoon (55 g/1.9 oz) sugar and whip on high speed until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
- Place the mascarpone in a large bowl and whisk it by hand until soft and smooth. Gently fold in the yolk mixture. Fold in the whipped egg whites, cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For the Coffee Pastry Cream: In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the coffee powder until it has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks, whisking until the mixture is pale. Whisk about one quarter of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, then whisk this mixture into the pan with the remaining milk. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and boils. Remove the pan from the heat, whisk in the butter, and continue to whisk until the butter has melted completely. Scrape the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a stainless steel bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Set the bowl in an ice bath and stir frequently until cold.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream to soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cold pastry cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For the Chocolate Phyllo Triangles: Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and brush the paper with melted butter.
- In a small saucepan, melt the clarified butter over medium heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.
- Place a sheet of phyllo dough on the parchment paper and brush the sheet with some of the butter mixture. Place another sheet of phyllo on top. Repeat the layering until you have used 4 phyllo sheets. Brush the last sheet with the butter mixture and, using the remaining phyllo sheets and cocoa-butter mixture, repeat the process on the other sheet pan. Refrigerate the phyllo layers for 30 minutes, or until the butter has firmed up.
- Using a ruler as a guide, cut the phyllo layers into 3½-inch squares. Cut the squares in half diagonally, forming a total of 24 triangles. Place the triangles on a silicone baking mat–lined half-sheet pan and place another silicone baking mat on top to keep them flat. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Remove the top mat and cool the triangles on the sheet pan, set on a wire rack.
- For the Assembly: Scrape the Chocolate Mousse into a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip. Scrape the Coffee Pastry Cream into another pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip. Pipe some mousse onto one of the Chocolate Phyllo Triangles. Place another triangle on top of the mousse and pipe a layer of Coffee Pastry Cream on top. Pipe on more mousse, and top with a final Chocolate Phyllo Triangle. Place the napoleon on a plate on its side, with the points facing up.
- Fill a shot glass one-third of the way with Chocolate Mousse. Fill another third of the glass with Coffee Granité. Spoon the Mascarpone Mousse on top, filling the glass to the top. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, place the glass on the plate, and spoon some Chocolate Sauce onto the plate.