These chocolate domes are filled with chocolate mousse and set on a brownie base, making them chocolate overload. However, nobody ever seems to mind, they are a treat to have and always get rave reviews.
For the brownie base:
- 250gr butter, softened
- 250gr dark chocolate
- 4 eggs, large
- 200gr sugar
- 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
- 150gr flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the domes:
- 430gr dark chocolate (fill half the domes with chocolate chips, this amount is what you need)
For the chocolate mousse:
- 200gr dark chocolate
- 250ml heavy cream
And silicone half-globe molds, with a diameter of 7cm. Supple silicone is best.
Line a large Swiss Roll tin (37x27cm) with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate together. You can do this au bain marie, but I always just toss it in the microwave and stir every minute until the chocolate has melted.
Start weighing off your other items after you melt your chocolate, as you want it to cool down a bit, to prevent the eggs becoming scrambled eggs.
Mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour and salt.
Mix the chocolate-butter mixture in with the fluffy egg-mixture until combined well, then mix in the flour and nuts. Spread the batter out in the tin, to 5-7mm high.
Bake for 15min on 180°C, or until the brownies are almost cooked but still a bit gooey in the middle. They cook a bit more after removing them from the oven, so don’t bake fully dry, this base is best when it’s a bit moist.
Make the domes:
Temper the chocolate. Heat the chocolate au bain marie to 50°C, then pour it on a marble countertop (be careful none of the water condensation drips, as water messes up the chocolate texture and makes it impossible to temper correctly. I always place the bowl on a tea towel first, wipe the bottom and then pour the chocolate. In the mean time, keep the bowl off the pan of water to avoid the bowl being too hot later) and move it around until it reaches 27°C (the thickness of piping ganache, but when you start, go on temperatures to be safe). Scoop it back into the bain marie and place the bowl back on the pan with hot water. Heat gently and while stirring constantly to a temperature of 32°C. Take the bowl off the pan and place it on a tea towel. For more information on tempering and working with chocolate, see the Techniques section.
Use a brush to paint the chocolate in the silicone domes. Work quickly and keep an eye on the temperature (stir once in a while to keep the temperature the same over the entire bowl), the ideal working range is 30 to 33°C. Place the bowl back on the pan when the temperature drops near 30.5°C. You can also use a chocolate tempering pot with a temperature dial, but keep a thermometer in and use that temperature instead of the dial, as they can be off when you don’t have a full pan of chocolate left.
When you have brushed all 12 domes, the first one should be pretty much set if you have tempered the chocolate well. Add small amounts of chocolate to thin areas. You want to have a dome of about 1-2mm thickness, without weak spots but also not too thick, a dome of 3mm thickness is impossible to break and eat in a decent way (but then again, who cares about eating in a decent way when something is tasty…)
Leave the domes to set.
Cut twelve 6.5cm circles from the brownie base, or use a cutter that best fits the inside of your domes.
When the domes are set, gently push them out of the silicone. Find the best method for you. For me, the tougher silicone molds I flip over and peel off upside down while keeping pressure all over the dome equal. For the supple silicone (which I can very much recommend, I don’t know specifics of silicone but my red molds are tough and my black ones are supple) I softly push them upwards out of the molds, while pulling the silicone only slightly apart and putting mild pressure on the sides, over a larger area, and working my way down. If you are unsure, it is best to do your first domes thicker and next time, make them thinner, as you will be more experienced then.
I have never tried filling the domes first and flipping them over next, as I am much more gentle when they are hollow, and I can control the process more.
Place the domes back in the silicone molds. Don’t push down.
Now make the chocolate mousse:
You want to make the mousse only after everything is set up to construct the domes.
Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl. Heat in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring inbetween. When the bowl has gotten warm enough to heat up the chocolate enough to melt it, keep stirring until all chocolate has melted. Set away to cool, first on a cool spot and then in the fridge.
When cold, whip up the ganache into chocolate mousse. After whipping, immediately fill the domes.
Scoop an ice-cream scoop of mousse into each dome, in order to have them filled until about 5mm from the top.
Place the brownie circle on the mousse and tuck it into the dome to seal. Leave the domes to set on a cool place but preferably not in the fridge (chocolate dislikes the fridge, only store it there if storing for a longer time), then flip them over and serve.
NOTE: If you want to have a liquid fruit center, such as raspberries or caramel, find instructions for construction at the recipe for the Sour Globes.