Chocolate week: White chocolate mousse

Roasted white chocolate mousse with puff pastry and strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 5 ½ ounces white chocolate
  • 4 ounces cream
  • 1 each egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 each egg white
  • 3 ounces cream
  • 3 ounces crème fraiche
  • 1 package store bought puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
Method

Roasted White Chocolate Mousse
  1. Roast white chocolate under broiler until golden brown.

  2. Place egg yolk and salt on top of roasted chocolate.

  3. Boil cream and pour on top of chocolate, stir to emulsify.

  4. With a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg white on high speed until frothy. Slowly add sugar and whip until medium peaks form, fold into chocolate mixture.

  5. Combine cream and crème fraiche, whip to medium peaks, and fold into chocolate mixture.

  6. Pour mixture into individual shallow soup bowls and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Puff Pastry
  1. On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets.

  2. Cut into 4 inch strips.

  3. Cut strip into 2mm slices, placing them cut-side down onto a Silpat baking mat.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

  5. Brush with Balsamic glaze. (one part balsamic vinegar, one part simple syrup)
Trailside Strawberries
  1. Meanwhile, place strawberries in a separate bowl. Toss gently with sugar, cover, and refrigerate for an hour.
Assembly:
  1. Remove mousse from the refrigerator once it has set.

  2. Place quartered strawberries over mousse.

  3. Top with puff pastry slices.

  4. Serve.
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Auberge du Soleil
180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, California
Phone: 707-963-1211
Website: www.aubergedusoleil.com

About Paul Lemieux:

He is the creative force behind the delectable deserts that come out of the kitchen at this renowned Napa Valley inn. A four-year veteran of the Auberge culinary team, Lemieux's passion and creativity in the art of pastry making come from nearly 15 years of experience honed at renowned restaurants throughout the United States.

Paul first joined Auberge du Soleil in August of 2003, brought on board under then Executive Chef of Richard Reddington. Lemieux began his career after graduating Magna cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island in 1992.

Making the move to San Francisco, Paul began on the hot line under then Chef Traci DesJardins of Rubicon. Taking him under her wing, DesJardines mentored Lemieux for several years, quickly promoting him to Sous Chef after just a few months.

In the spring of 1996, Paul was promoted to pastry chef, where he discovered his passion for confectioneries and chocolates.

Chef DesJardines quickly recognized his talents, and asked him to join her as pastry chef in her new namesake restaurant Jardinere.

He was quickly recognized as a true culinary star, earning critical acclaim by Gourmet Magazine, which in 1997, referred to him as "San Francisco's up-and-coming pastry star."

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