Cara Damia

Cara Damia - Bruno Albouze - The Real Deal

Cara Damia Recipe / Serves 8. Make 2 days ahead
This recipe is inspired by French chef Kévin Lacote.
Cara Damia could be translated as “Le plaisir des Dieux (pleasure of Gods). Each element of this dessert pairs so beautifully with each other; the buttery crust, the soft salted caramel and the crunch from the caramelized macadamia, the coconut dacquoise macaron-like texture and the delicate dulce de leche milk chocolate mousse.

Sugar Dough / Pâte Sucrée
8 Tbsp (120g) unsalted butter, cubed
2.5 ounces (75g) powdered sugar
1 ounce (30g) almond meal
A pinch fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 ea. (50g) large egg
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla paste
7 ounces (200g) all purpose flour.

In a food processor, cream butter, sugar, almond meal and salt. Add the egg and vanilla; give a few pulses. Scrap down sides of the bowl as it goes. Add half of the flour; mix to combine and add the other half. Wrap up and chill completely.
Butter pastry rings generously. Flour work surface and work out half of the chilled pastry to soften – the dough should remain cool and supple. Roll out pastry into a ≈ 0.12 inch (3mm) thick sheet. Cut out three 4.25 inch (10.5cm) diameter disks for 3.25 inch (8cm) diameter pastry rings. Chill scraps and roll out the other half and do likewise. Chill scraps and make 2 more tart. Keep disks cool but still malleable. Shape tart shells and freeze. Once frozen, line each tart with double layers of microwave-safe plastic wrap or parchment. Fill up with pie weights, beans, rice or cherry pits. Keep refrigerated or frozen until ready to bake.

Caramelized Macadamia
120g macadamia, toasted and crushed
60g sugar
50g water
A pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla extract or paste.

Cook sugar, water, salt and vanilla to 118ºC. Toss in the macadamia and cook until caramelized stirring constantly. Let cool and keep them in a sealed container at room temperature; it can last for weeks. A couple of silica gel desiccant packets extend any caramelized nuts shelf life.

Salted Caramel
1/2 cup (110g) sugar
1 ounce (30g) corn syrup or glucose
0.8 Tbsp (10g) butter
1/2 cup (125g) heavy cream
A couple of pinches fleur de sel or kosher salt
1/2 tsp (5ml) vanilla paste.

Bring up sugar and corn syrup to brown caramel on medium high heat. Turn heat off and add butter, hot cream, salt and vanilla. Turn heat back on and cook caramel to 216ºF (102ºC). Transfer to a container and let cool. Salted caramel can be kept weeks in the refrigerator.

Coconut Dacquoise
3 ea. (90g) egg whites, at room temp
2 Tbsp (30g) sugar.

3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar
2 Tbsp (20g) almond meal
3/4 cup (70g) unsweetened shredded coconut.

In a food processor blend dry ingredients to combine; set aside. Turn oven on to 350ºF (180ºC). Beat egg white and sugar to stiff peaks on high. Fold in dry ingredients. Spread coconut mixture into a 3/4 inch (2cm) thick sheet onto a baking tray lined with a silicone baking mat; lightly oiled or a greased parchment papper and bake. Save leftovers for later use.

When oven is preheated, bake coconut dacquoise for ≈ 25 min. Then toast macadamia for about 15 minutes or until golden. Then bake tart shells for 20 min with pie weights and 5 minutes more without.

Dulce De Leche Milk Chocolate Mousse
0.4 cup (80g) sugar
2 ea. (40g) egg yolks
0.4 cup (100g) heavy cream
4 ounces (120g) milk chocolate milk couverture*
3 grams gelatin sheet
0.9 cup (200g) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks.

Chocolate couverture is a very high-quality chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter (32–39%) than baking or eating chocolate.

Soak gelatine in cold water for about 10 min; drain and set aside. Melt milk chocolate gently and set aside. In a hot frying pan, cook sugar to brown caramel on medium high heat. Turn heat off and deglaze with hot heavy cream. Bring caramel mixture to a boil and transfer into a small saucepan. In a separate bowl, temper yolks with the caramel mixture and return to the saucepan. Cook like a creme Anglaise to 185ºF (85ºC). Add gelatin and pass caramel creme Anglaise through a fine sieve over the melted milk chocolate and mix to combine. Make sure that the caramel chocolate mixture is at ≈ 105ºF (40ºC); fold in whipped cream using a whisk. Fill half sphere silicone mold up to 1.7 ounces (50/55g) max per serving. Freeze mousse overnight or for up to 3 months. When ready to be glazed, unmold frozen mousse onto a frozen baking tray lined with plastic wrap and frozen cooling rack; keep frozen.

Caramel Glaze (Using Fondant Patissier*)
7 ounces (200g) fondant patissier
1.2 cups (300g) heavy cream
4 grams gelatin sheet.

Heat up heavy cream. Meanwhile, cook fondant to brown caramel on high heat. Turn heat off and pour in hot cream on thin stream. Bring back to boil and cool to 140ºF (60ºC). Add gelatin without adding too much friction to prevent air bubbles to form. Chill overnight* or for up to 2 weeks. Any glaze made with gelatin must be chilled to rest for at least 12 hours before being used. When ready to finish the cakes, rewarm to 86ºF (30ºC) and glaze frozen mousse. Leftover glaze can be kept frozen for months.

*Fondant patissier is also known as pouring fondant or white icing fondant (Not to be confused with the roll fondant used for wedding cakes).
A perfect hold and gloss outside, in fridge or in freezer such as eclairs and choux. It can be found online and through fine bakeries and patisseries.
Make your own will end up being an interresting experience. Fondant can be kept refrigerated for months.

Fondant Patissier
1.6 cups (325g) sugar
2 Tbsp (30ml) water
1.7 ounces (50g) glucose or corn syrup.

This recipe can be doubled; it is easier to handle. Cook sugar, water and glucose covered for about 3 min after boiling. Remove the lid and cook syrup to 244ºF (118ºC); immediately immerse the bottom of the saucepan in cool water to stop cooking process, wait and lower syrup temperature to 167ºF (75ºC) and transfer in the mixing bowl. Let run mixer for about 5 min fitted with the paddle attachment on medium low speed. As it cools down, the syrup gets thicker and whiter – as soon it turns white but must remain quite supple; it’s ready. Be carefull though, one minute more and it will turn into a pasty mixture which wont be good anymore.
Turn off mixer immediately. Transfer fondant onto a clean work surface and finish kneading the still hot mixture with the palms of your hands* (called fraser in French) and continue for about 5 min or until it comes together and gets firmer. Wrap up and chill 24 hours before using.
*Because the mixture may still be in the hot side; kitchen cleaning rubber gloves are recommended.

Cara Damia Assembly
The good news about this dessert is that every component can be made days or weeks in advance.
The weigh of the finished dessert should not exceed 4.5 ounces (130g).

Inside each tart shell, pipe out salted caramel which should not exceed 0.5 ounce/15 grams per tart. Crush some caramelized macadamia and top the salted caramel with; about 15 grams per tart. Cover with a disk of coconut dacquoise (its diameter should be slightly smaller than the shell).
Pull the glazed dulce de leche chocolate mousse from the freezer. Heat up quickly the blade of a small offset spatula in hot water, wipe it off and slide under the frozen dome and top each tart with. Hid the thinny space left between the mousse and the seam of the upper crust with some craquelin or thinly chopped caramelized macadamia. Make sure the mousse is thawed before serving. Finished Cara Damia dessert can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or kept frozen for 3 months. Enjoy!

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