Fancy a cuppa?
This is no ordinary cup of green tea. I recently came across Raymond Blanc's tutorial for making chocolate cups, and I had to try it. To paraphrase the chef himself, you really have to love someone a lot to make this dessert. I'm not going to lie: it was a pain in the butt.
However, in making it I feel as if I've finally gotten the art of tempering chocolate down, and now I feel less daunted by the prospect of working with chocolate in the future. This was a steep learning curve though: without tempering chocolate correctly, you'll have melted chocolate that won't set. If the chocolate won't set... no chocolate cup.
Unfortunately I didn't get to make the adorable chocolate saucers, quite simply because I don't have any to work with. Instead I sealed off my chocolate cups by spreading a thin layer of melted tempered chocolate on baking parchment, stuck the cups on, let the chocolate set and cut around them with a hot knife.
Monsieur Blanc did a stellar job of breaking down the otherwise tricky process of making these, so rather than trying to read and envision written instructions here, I'd recommend watching his video instead. I'm not being lazy (honest), I just think that in this case it's much better to see the process in action.
For my version, I have used white chocolate for the cups, with vanilla sponge cake at the bottom and filled with matcha mousse (using the same recipe for my mousse layer cake). On top I put a little swirl of whipped chantilly (sweet vanilla) cream and dusted some matcha powder over it.
As you can seem I also used chocolate transfer sheets
instead of plain acetate. I would actually not recommend this unless
you're making small cups- transfer sheets are quite thin and flimsy, and
a bit of a fiddly nightmare to work with.
Nevertheless, I sort of
pulled it off here. So, would I take the trouble to make chocolate cups again? Definitely. Would I use flimsy but pretty transfer sheets again, too? Probably, but the people I'm serving these to have to be extra-nice to me, first.
Also, here's a really awesome cross-section I did using a hot knife to slice cleanly through the whole thing:
Pretty neat, right?