Mihaela Dima, Pastry Chef Athénée Palace Hilton, is the one that adds the sweet touch to the hotel’s restaurant menus. She has more than 23 years of experience in the hospitality industry and 20 years since she devoted her passion and expertise to the hotel, where she creates spectacular desserts for Romanians, expats, diplomats and celebrities.
Throughout her career, she has prepared desserts for banquets of over 1,500 people, for large-scale events such as the Nato Summit, the George Enescu Concert, King Michael’s 90th Anniversary, the Centenary of the Athénée Palace Hotel and for famous names such as Nicolas Cage, Duffy, Roxette and the Rolling Stones.
The dish that I propose for this month’s OZB is a Bailey’s Mousse with Rhubarb Strawberries Jelly, an extremely tasty and fine pastry product, from a pretty old recipe that I have been using for 11 years. I am very attached to this recipe and its presentation, due to the elegant taste that will for sure impress your guests. Moreover, I would like to mention that the Ambassador of Ireland to Bucharest gave this pastry product 11 points out of 10 during a testing ceremony, which makes me very proud. This plated dessert is a feast and an explosion of tastes combining a smooth and fluffy, airy mousse which gets an extra flavour boost from the beloved Bailey’s Irish Cream, a crunchy chocolate base and a divine dark chocolate mirror glaze.
The decoration, the dessert’s final touch, consists of subtly presented components as indispensable as the queen’s crown. Chocolate decorations, edible flowers, strawberry pieces are all actors that will complete this plated dessert which can successfully be compared with a theatre piece with several acts. Each and every bite will lead you to the magnificent world of chocolate, the ingredient which constitutes the narrative thread of our sublime story.
Please, find in the following its components and the methodology of preparation.
Bailey’s Mousse with Rhubarb
45g egg yolks
110g milk chocolate
45g dark chocolate
120g heavy cream
9g gelatin sheets
1. Soak gelatin in ice cold water until hydrated, squeeze out excess water and set aside.
2. In a pot, bring milk to a boil, pour it over the egg yolks and return the mixture to the cooker until it reaches 82 C. Stir in gelatin to dissolve.
3. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and stir well until it is completely melted and emulsified.
4. When the mixture is cooled down, incorporate the Bailey’s and the whipped cream.
Note: Pour in the desired molds a layer of Bailey’s Mousse, the Rhubarb and strawberries jelly (recipe will follow below), and another layer of Bailey’s Mousse. Freeze it before glazing.
165g butter (room temperature)
402g Valrhona milk chocolate Caramelia 36%
885g Praline paste 65%
1. Melt the chocolate and emulsify it together with the butter.
2. Incorporate the cornflakes. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix everything 2-3 minutes until you have a fine granulated crunch.
3. Place on a baking mat and reserve it in the refrigerator.
4. Cut it in desired rectangles.
Note: Since the cornflakes in bigger sizes generally absorb humidity, for a nice and crunchy effect, it is recommended to mix them with the chocolate and butter mixture until you get a finer granulation.
Rhubarb Strawberries Jelly
200g strawberries cut in small pieces
1. Put the rhubarb with a small amount of water in a pot and let it slowly cook.
2. When ready, pour in the sugar and stir it well until dissolved.
3. Pour it in a container and freeze it.
4. Cut it in perfect strips to insert them between the mousse layers.
5. Put the strawberries pieces over the rhubarb jelly.
Note: This is a jelly which doesn’t require gelatin due to the texture of cooked rhubarb. The strawberries pieces will stick to the jelly without the risk of being slippery on it, since no gelatin content.
Dark chocolate mirror glaze
22,5g gelatin sheets
225g glucose syrup
215g dark chocolate
150g condensed milk
80g neutral glaze
1. Soak gelatin in ice cold water until softened, squeeze out excess water and set aside.
2. In a medium size pot, boil water, sugar
3. Stir in the gelatin.
4. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and emulsify.
5. Stir in the condensed milk and the
6. Allow it cool to 35 C until glazing the cakes.
1. Crunch base
2. Bailey’s Mousse with Rhubarb Strawberries Jelly
3. Dark chocolate mirror glaze
4. Chocolate decorations, edible flowers and fruits