Sailor Pluto was one of the desserts in this series that I figured out immediately. It basically went like this: “Garnet Orb… Blood Orange! Cardamom would be amazing with blood orange! Done!” It helps that I love me some Pluto. Hang in there, girl, you’ll always be a planet to me.
What I had more trouble with was actually FINDING fresh blood oranges. I tried my local stores, I tried the internet, I tried hoping Amazon would just accidentally deliver me some. I ended up giving up and deciding to use storebought juice, only to find that the store I went to for the juice suddenly had a new daily sale item… fresh blood oranges, super cheap. I got two huge bags full. For the record, I ended up needing all of them (almost 8 lbs) to extract the 3 cups of juice required for this recipe.
If you don’t come across an amazing sale, it’s totally fine to use blood orange juice for this recipe. Make sure to look at the ingredients, though. If they’ve added extra sugar, you’ll need to reduce the amount in the recipe. Follow your taste buds!
A quick note: You’ll need to move your mousse spheres around a lot. I’ve found the best method is using a small spatula and gradually sliding it underneath before you lift. Once you’ve got it set down, continue to slide the spatula and your sphere should land pretty cleanly.
ACT SEVEN: SETSUNA
Blood Orange Sphere with Cardamom Crémeux and Toasted Almond
Yield: 3-4 spheres, depending on your mold.
Timing notes: It is best to allow yourself about 2 days of working time for this recipe. This will work best if the mousse has a chance to rest overnight in the freezer before being glazed.
Blood Orange Mousse, recipe follows
Cardamom Crémeux, recipe follows
Blood Orange Glaze, recipe follows
White Chocolate, 6 oz. (180g)
Slivered Almonds for garnish
Toasted chopped or slivered almonds, 2 oz. (60g)
1. Fill your blood orange mousse into a pastry bag and fill your demisphere molds to within 1/4 inch of the top. Take your chilled cremeux cups and drop one carefully into the center of each filled demisphere. They will sink a bit, which is fine. Refrigerate the mousses until set.
2. Remove from fridge. Pipe a small dot of cremeux on top of your cremeux cups and sprinkle your toasted almonds onto the cremeux on top. Cover the mousses in saran wrap and level the tops a bit. I turned the mold upside down onto a cookie sheet and pressed down a bit to flatten the tops, then flipped it back right side up. Place your mousses in the freezer.
3. Once your mousses are frozen, take them out and carefully level off the tops of the mousses with a knife while they are still in the mold. The more level they are, the more smooth the sphere will be when you combine them. Unmold your spheres and shave a bit of the mousse from the tops of half of them. These will be the bottom halves of your spheres. Flip them so they’re sitting on the part you shaved down, and then place the your two demispheres together.
4. Using a small cake spatula and additional mousse, fill in the space between your spheres. Use a flexible piece of food-safe plastic or cardstock to smooth the sphere out, as shown below. Return them to the freezer to re-firm the outside.
5. Once the spheres are frozen, pull them out and transfer them to a cooling rack with a cookie sheet or plate underneath to catch the glaze. Gently warm your glaze until fluid, and pour a thin layer over your spheres. It’ll be a bit too translucent, so wait for it to firm up (it shouldn’t take more than a minute) before pouring a second layer. You’ll likely have to scrape the extra glaze from the catch pan back into your pouring container inbetween pours, which is fine. Reheat the glaze if it firms up too much to pour. You’ll need two or three layers of glaze, depending on how much you warmed it. Feel free to repeat the process until you like the look of the spheres, just make sure to let your last layer of glaze firm up before you pour on the next.
6. Transfer the globes to the plates you intend to serve them on, then refrigerate until the glaze is entirely set. In the meantime, draw out the template for your heart. This will depend entirely on the size of your sphere molds. I measured them, created a circle of that diameter and drew the heart around it. I extended the top dip a bit so I could push the chocolate heart halves into the sphere to anchor them. Here’s a photo of my template for reference:
7. Melt about 2/3 of your white chocolate completely. Add the remaining unmelted white chocolate along with 1/4 tsp of vegetable oil, and stir them together until combined. Fill them into a bag with a small tip (I actually used a coupler and both a #4 and #2 tip). Place a silpat, piece of parchment or piece of acetate over your template, and pipe your hearts. You want to pipe the heart halves separately, not as one large piece. Pipe the small top hearts as well, and allow all your white chocolate garnishes to firm up. Carefully peel them from whatever sheet they’re on and set them aside.
8. Garnish the bottoms of your mousse spheres with slivered almonds and place your large heart halves on your sphere. Using a dot of white chocolate, attach the small top heart to both halves. Garnish the plate with extra glaze if desired, and serve!
2 tbsp (30ml) water
Approximately 1/3 package (2g) gelatin
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 1 tsp (35g) sugar
2 tbsp + 2 tsp (35g) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 (400ml) milk
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla
1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow to bloom for five minutes. In a saucepan, combine your milk, sugar, cardamom, cornstarch and egg yolks. Cook on low, stirring constantly, until thickened and devoid of starchy taste. Remove from heat and stir in your vanilla. Cover with saran wrap, making sure to touch the wrap to the top of the cremeux to avoid a skin forming. Fill the cremeux into lightly greased molds (I used a large truffle mold, but mini muffin cups work), being sure you have one cremeux piece for each half-sphere. Set in freezer to firm up. Reserve the remaining cremeux in a piping bag.
Note: You can see in my photos that the freezing process caused the cremeux to separate a bit. It was still tasty, but I modified the starches used and the recipe above should not have this problem.
Blood Orange Mousse
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1 cup (240ml) fresh squeezed blood orange juice, with pulp
1 packet (7g) gelatin
1 tbsp (15ml) cold water
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow to bloom for five minutes. Combine the blood orange juice with sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until it has reduced to about half its volume (1 1/4 cup or less). Once it has reduced, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down just a bit. Stir in the bloomed gelatin until dissolved. Cool the mixture over an ice bath until it reaches room temperature.
2. Whip the cream until it reaches medium peaks. Fold the cream into your cooled blood orange mixture, and continue to combine it until smooth. Do not refrigerate until molded, or else it will set and be too difficult to pipe.
Blood Orange Glaze
1 cup (240ml) fresh squeezed blood orange juice, strained well
1 cup (100g) powdered sugar
1/2 package (3g) powdered gelatin
2 tbsp (30ml) water
Red food coloring
1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow to bloom for five minutes. In a saucepan, heat up the blood orange juice until just simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until smooth. Once the mix has cooled to room temperature, add your powdered sugar and whip the glaze until smooth. Mix in your food coloring a couple of drops at a time. I only used about 5 drops, since the juice color was pretty intense to begin with.
Note: The above is an Amazon affiliate link.