Chocolate Moon Dessert
To make the dessert: This dessert was made using the paper cone cups often found at a water dispenser. The paper cone was 3 1/2 inches tall with a 2 1/2-inch diameter opening. You can use any mold that you like. If you use the paper cones, place them point side down inside small glasses to make it easy to fill them.
Use a serrated knife to slice the pound cake into 1/2-inch thick layers. Use a round cutter to cut cake rounds the same diameter as the cone mold.
Pour the heavy cream into a medium-size mixing bowl and whip to soft peaks with an electric mixer set on medium speed. At this stage, the whipped cream has the most volume. If you overwhip the cream, you will lose volume and the mousse will not be as light and airy as it should be. If you are using fruit flavored alcohol, fold it in with a rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate the cream.
Carefully pour the warm melted chocolate into the mixture. If the chocolate is too warm, it will melt the whipped cream. If it is too cool, the chocolate will seize (harden) upon contact with the cooler mixture and you will have pieces of chocolate in your mousse. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the chocolate until completely incorporated. The chocolate mousse should be the same color throughout, with no streaks. Place the chocolate mousse in a large pastry bag (no tip).
Drop a few cherries into the tip of each paper cone. Pipe the chocolate mousse into the cone so that it is about 1/4-inch from the top. Close each cone with 1 cake round, gently pressing the cake round into the mousse. Invert the cone and place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place the desserts in the freezer for 2 hours.
To make the chocolate decorations: Use a small offset spatula to spread some tempered chocolate on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Keep the thickness of the chocolate as even as possible, about 1/8-inch thick. Use a sharp paring knife to cut some long triangles of chocolate that are about 15 inches long with a 1 1/2-inch base. Cut 1 triangle for each dessert you are making. When the chocolate has set slightly, place it inside a large round tube or bucket. I made my tube of aluminum flashing that I taped into a 15-inch diameter. Place the chocolate triangles inside the tube and let the chocolate set. When set, remove the acetate from the tube. Peel off the parchment paper and break apart the curved triangles. This piece forms the moon for each dessert.
Make the chocolate sauce cups: Use a spoon to fill a round measuring tablespoon with chocolate. When it is full, empty it into the bowl of chocolate. The inside of the spoon should be evenly coated with chocolate. Wipe the edge of the spoon clean on the side of the bowl and place it upside down on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Once the chocolate starts to harden, about 5 minutes, scrape the edge clean with a paring knife. When the chocolate sets, it shrinks or retracts from the sides of the spoon. A clean edge will keep it from sticking and cracking as it shrinks. You can place the spoon in the refrigerator for several minutes to help the chocolate to harden. Unmold. Repeat to make 1 sauce cup for each dessert.
Make a chocolate tube: Roll a piece of parchment paper into a tube that has a 2-inch diameter. Fill the tube with chocolate. Then invert it and let the excess chocolate flow back into the bowl. Spin the tube while inverted to ensure the inside is completely and evenly covered. Allow this to set until firm. Remove the parchment paper.
Use a hot serrated knife to slice the tube into 1 1/2-inch wide slices. Cut 1 slice for each dessert. To do this, heat the knife under very hot water and wipe it dry. Hold the knife blade against the side of the chocolate where you want to make the cut. Do not press on the knife or the chocolate will break. Allow the heat of the knife to "cut" through the chocolate by melting it.
Assemble the chocolate decoration: Dip the side of the tube piece in tempered chocolate and place the tube on a glass plate. Use tempered chocolate to adhere the moon to the top of the tube piece. Use more chocolate to adhere the chocolate sauce cup to the top of the moon.
To unmold the dessert: Fill a bowl with very hot water. Dip the outside of the frozen dessert in the hot water for about 2 seconds. Be careful not to allow the water to seep into the opening. Invert the dessert and gently pinch the tip. The frozen dessert should release from the mold.
To spray the dessert: Place a mixture of 50 percent cocoa butter and 50 percent chocolate in a saucepan. Heat it until warm. Make sure there are no lumps. Transfer this mixture to the container of the paint sprayer. Spray the dessert with this mixture to give it texture, color and contrast.
Use an offset spatula to move the frozen dessert to the base of the chocolate moon. Fill a squeeze bottle with raspberry sauce and fill the chocolate sauce cup.Sources:
Paint sprayer: art supply store
Recipe courtesy Jacques Torres
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse