The Emperor’s New Groove is far and away the funniest Disney movie to me. I still can’t watch it without lapsing into gigglefits. I think Yzma is probably also my favorite Disney villian, in no small part because her dynamic with her assistant Kronk is hilarious.
As you may remember (assuming you’ve seen the film), toward the end of the film Yzma manages to turn herself into a cat. It’s a really memorable scene for me, enough that I totally think it qualifies as inspiration for my third Nyanuary post!
This dessert is a replica of the cups used by Yzma to serve dinner (and poison). The cups are filled with a trifle that appears somewhat like the juice from the scene thanks to the use of red cactus pear.
Yzma’s Extract of Cat
Cactus Pear Parfait in a Chocolate Cup
DIFFICULTY: This is a more difficult project, and I suggest it primarily for people who have some experience working with candy melts or chocolate. If you’re new to it, this may take some practice and I suggest giving yourself plenty of time to dedicate to the project.
YIELDS: 6 trifle-filled goblets.
2 cups vanilla cake of your choice, cut into 1/4″ cubes
Whipped cream (recipe below)
Cactus pear curd (recipe below)
500-750g (18-26 oz) white chocolate, tempered OR candy melts
Gold luster dust
Clear extract or liquor
Teal oil-based food coloring (NOT liquid)
Yellow oil-based food coloring (NOT liquid)
1. Cut the acetate strips down using this template (1 set for every goblet you want to make), then tape the two curved shapes together so they fit like this:
2. Dye some white chocolate light yellow. Spread the white chocolate onto the inside of the acetate molds as smoothly as you can, then allow it to set. Once it has set, spread on another thin layer. If necessary, jiggle it to smooth it out a little. Allow it to set again. If there are uneven edges, carefully whittle them level with a sharp knife. Cut the tape holding the acetate molds and peel them off.
3.To combine the tapered rim and the lower part of the goblet, dip the larger top of the cup into some white chocolate and place the tapered rim part onto/inside of it. Adjust it to sit as level/straight as possible, then allow to set. Now anchor the goblet to a plate by gentle dipping the edge in a small amount of chocolate and then placing it onto a serving plate.
4. To make the strip at the top of the goblet, lay the strip of acetate down and spread some chocolate over it. While it’s still soft, lift off the strip and quickly wrap it around the goblet. Allow to set, then peel off the acetate. Repeat for all your cups.
5. Dye a small amount of your white chocolate teal. Fill it into a piping bag and snip off a small part of the end. Pipe small dots of chocolate onto an acetate sheet, trying to make them all similar in size. Jiggle the acetate just a little to smooth them out.
6. Mix your gold luster dust with a few drops of clear liquor to make a thick paint. Now paint the goblet using short, rapid back-and-forth strokes. This way you’re less likely to have visible brush lines. Once you’ve finished painting but the paint has not yet dried, press the teal chocolate dots onto the ribbon. If they’re not sticking well, you may help them stick with a tiny amount of corn syrup.
7. Drop a few cubes of cake into the base of each chocolate cup. Next, fill some whipped cream into a piping bag with the end snipped off and squeeze some on top of the cake cubes. You want the cup filled to about 2/3 of the way up with whipped cream. Finally, spoon on the cactus pear curd and serve. These can be kept in the fridge with the cactus pear curd loosely covered in saran wrap for up to 3 days.
CACTUS PEAR CURD
120ml (1/2 cup) red cactus pear puree
3 tbsp lemon juice
50g (1/4 cup) sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
1. In a microwavable bowl, combine all your ingredients and whisk until smooth. Microwave in 1 minute increments, whisking between each one, until thickened and well-cooked. It will still be somewhat runny; this curd is more sauce-like than most.
2. Press the curd through a sieve and cover well with plastic wrap, touching the wrap directly to the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Chill well.
STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM
250ml (1 cup) heavy cream
25g (2 tbsp) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp powdered gelatin
1.5 tbsp cold water
1. In small bowl, mix the gelatin and cold water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and cream until the whipped cream has reached soft-to-medium peaks.
2. Gently warm the gelatin, either over a double boiler or in the microwave. Either way, be sure the gelatin has dissolved, but do not allow the mixture to boil. Pour the gelatin mixture into your heavy cream while mixing, and mix on medium-high speed until you just achieve medium-stiff peaks.
I really loved the flavor of these! The design was also really whimsical and cute, so if you’ve got some experience with chocolate work this is a very cute project.
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