#102 The Wonders of Wine

Chocolate Ganache Burger (Yields: 4 servings)

Chocolate burgers:
• 7 tablespoons heavy cream
• 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cocoa) - cut into small pieces
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon white or dark rum (optional)

Passion Fruit Gelée:
• 1 cup (8 oz.) unsweetened passion fruit concentrate
• 4 teaspoons powdered gelatin (amount may vary depending on brand)
• 5 tablespoons sugar

• Glazed doughnuts without central holes or use beignets
• 1 pint basket ripe strawberries
• 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• Kiwi - peeled and cut into very thin slices
• Mint sprigs – fresh

To make the burgers, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the chocolate, cover, and let sit for five minutes. Then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in the butter and rum. Let cool, cover, and then refrigerate until stiff, about one hour.

Line a three-inch round cookie cutter (or whatever size fits your doughnut ‘bun’) with a sheet of plastic wrap. Leave several inches of wrap hanging over the edge. Scoop one fourth (two ounces) of the ganache mixture into the mold. Use the plastic wrap to push the ganache against the edges of the mold and to smooth the top for a three-inch disc. Gently lift out the burger and refrigerate it until needed. Repeat with the remaining ganache to form four burgers.

To make the gelée, in a small, non-reactive saucepan stir together the passion fruit concentrate and sugar. Add the sugar by tablespoonfuls until the sweet/tart balance reaches your preference. Whisk in the gelatin until well mixed and set aside to soften for two minutes.

Prepare an ice water bath by placing ice cubes into a pan of cold water. Line a 9x12 inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Place the saucepan with the passion fruit mixture over low heat and whisk gently to prevent sticking and scorching while the mixture comes to a boil, about four minutes. Move the saucepan off the heat and hold it on top of the ice water bath. Whisk until the mixture has cooled to about room temperature. Skim off any remaining foam with a shallow spoon.

Pour the gelée onto the prepared baking pan and tilt and smooth the mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate until set, about an hour. (Make sure the pan sits evenly) Gelée keeps, covered and refrigerated for up to four days.

To assemble the burgers, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sort through the berries to choose four of the largest and cut these into very thin lengthwise slices. Puree remaining berries in a food processor with about one tablespoon sugar and set aside. In a small bowl, beat the cream with the remaining one teaspoon of sugar, until it forms soft mounds.

Cut doughnuts in half horizontally and place on a baking sheet. Warm them in the oven, about two minutes. They should not get too hot, or they will melt the chocolate burgers.

While the gelée remains in the pan, trim the edges with a small sharp knife so they are straight. Carefully lift the gelée out of the pan onto a work surface. Then cut the gelée into three-inch squares, cutting through the plastic wrap. Run your knife under water frequently so it cuts cleanly.

Place the bottom half of each doughnut on a dessert plate. Add a dollop of whipped cream and then a chocolate burger. Arrange a sliced berry, (pointing outwards) on top of the burger, and then add a circle of overlapping slices of kiwi.

With the tip of a small knife, pry up a corner of the square of gelée with its plastic wrap and place it, plastic wrap side up, on the kiwi. Peel off the plastic wrap. Top with remaining bun halves and tuck a few fresh mint leaves under the top bun. If necessary, secure the top bun with toothpicks. Spoon a little strawberry sauce around the burger and serve immediately.

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Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.