Chocolate soup with a floating island
The most popular dessert at our Boucan resaturant.
For the floating islands
- 110g egg whites
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g whipping cream
- 150g semi skimmed milk
- 50g egg yolks
- 40g caster sugar
- 30g white chocolate broken into small pieces
- 30g dark 68% chocolate broken into small pieces
For the floating island:
- In a large metal bowl beat the egg whites and caster sugar just to combine, about 2 minutes.
- Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water so it sits well on and above the pan. Do not have water touching the bottom of the bowl. Now whisk the egg and sugar mix over a simmering heat until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are warm to the touch. Should take about 3 minutes.
- Place the mix in the bowl of the mixer and whisk to a soft peak. This is the stage when a whisk is lifted out of the whites, a small peak forms and gently dissolves back into the mix. This may be done by hand but will take about 5-6 minutes.
- Sparingly spray the inside of 6 tall coffee cups with a non stick oil in a can. Fill the tall cups to three quarters full.
- Preheat the oven to 120C
- Place the moulds in a deep roasting tray and add hot water in the tray to come half way up the outsides of the moulds. Cover the moulds and tray very loosely with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the oven, with kitchen cloth lift out the moulds and allow to cool.
For the chocolate soup:
- Bring the cream and the milk to a boil. Remove off the heat. In a large bowl beat the sugar and the egg yolks. Pour a quarter of the milk mix into the eggs and beat well. Return this mix back to the pan of milk and cream whisking as you do.
- Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon. This will take 5-6 minutes. When ready take off the heat and beat in the broken chocolate until completely melted. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave until needed. Can be served warm or cold.
- To serve, place a small ladle of the soup in the bottom of the bowl. Demould the Petit Piton meringue and sit in the middle. Serve decorated with thinly sliced bananas, toasted almonds and caramel sauce
Notes to help you get the most out of your cocoa and chocolate.
Depending on the kind of cocoa you use, how much you use and how you use it, cocoa and chocolate will have a different effect on the taste and experience of your dishes. In each of our recipes, we’ll tell you how much influence it will have, in our cocoa notes:
Low – a subtle hint, playing a bass note in the harmony of flavours.
Medium – a rich interplay of cocoa with other leading ingredients.
High – cocoa starring role.
The Character of Cocoa
The flavour of cocoa and the chocolate it produces varies depending on where the cocoa is grown. Different growing regions have different personalities, each pairing well with other ingredients.
Fruit-led flavours, refreshing in the mouth – perfect with fruits, dark meats and game.
Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Java
Complex and multi-layered flavours jostling for position. Goes with pork, chicken and wines.
Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador
Roasted flavours, led by mellow notes of roasted nuts. Ideal with fish, eggs and desserts.
Demystifying Cocoa Percentages
The percentages used on chocolate labels can sometimes seem a bit confusing. A 40% milk chocolate, for example, is not made with 40% milk. The percentage always refers to the amount of cocoa used in the recipe, and the rest will either be all sugar (darks) or milk and sugar (milks/whites).
You’ll find higher percentages in dark chocolate recipes, with less in milk, and least in white. Surprisingly, one of the UK’s most famous dark chocolates contains just 39% cocoa, and its milk counterpart only 23%. That means the largest ingredient overall is sugar. We believe this is wrong. We always prefer to use more cocoa in our chocolate for an authentic and satisfying cocoa hit. We put 40 – 70% cocoa in our milk and Supermilk chocolate, and 70-100% in our dark.
Our white chocolate has a much higher cocoa percentage than average, at 36%.
Sugar only costs a tenth of the price of even the cheapest cocoa beans, so it’s no wonder that it is tempting for low – quality makers to use so much of it. But in the world of fine chocolate, deciding on whether to use, say 73% or 75% cocoa in a recipe is the chocolatier’s choice and depends on the quality, character and flavour profile of the bean harvest. In many ways, deciding the cocoa percentage is like deciding the alcohol level in a good wine.
How To Melt Your Chocolate
In a Bain-Marie (recommended)
This traditional method offers a great deal of control. Put your chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water (or it can burn the chocolate). Heat in the steam for about 2 minutes until fully melted, stirring occasionally.
In a Microwave
Put your chocolate in the microwave on high power for a total of 40-50 seconds, but only in 10 second bursts, stirring in between to ensure it doesn’t burn. Stop when fully melted.
Essential Cocoa Nib Know-How
Knowing how to extract the best flavours from your cocoa nibs is essential to many of our recipes. It’s easy to buy cocoa nibs these days, but they can be of variable quality. Follow our tips below to make sure you get the most flavour possible from your nibs.
Awakening your Nibs
Often your nibs will have a silver grey hue to them as they have oxidised around the outside. This is harmless, but we recommend you grind them vigorously in a pestle and mortar for 30 seconds. You’ll see the nibs turn a gorgeous mahogany brown, their amazing flavour and aroma awoken at the same time.
Soak them in Water
After awakening, the nibs may still be hard and flinty. Soak them in a little hot water (just enough to cover them) for about 20 minutes which will soften them, the soaking liquid can be set aside as a flavoursome stock.
Storing your Nibs
Just like coffee, roasted nibs should be kept in an airtight container. If you are able to source ‘just roasted’ nibs or have made your own, you can freeze them in an airtight container until needed, retaining maximum flavour.
- preparation time: 30 mins
- cooking time: 10 mins
- ease of preparation: Intermediate
- serves: 1