Chocolate-lover's dream, these impressive-looking mirror-glazed chocolate domes are made with two types of mousse inside - dark chocolate and almond! Sat on a circle of joconde sponge and served with an almond brittle, this is the most decadently rich desserts you'll ever taste!
Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Line a small baking tray (we used 17x23cm) with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks. Add the caster sugar and whisk until smooth and glossy.
Mix ground almonds, icing sugar and a whole egg in another large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, whisk for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture doubles in volume, then fold in the flour and melted and slightly cooled butter.
Carefully fold in the egg whites, trying not to knock too much air out.
Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking tray and smooth out the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until firm to the touch.
sprinkle the top of the cooked joconde with caster sugar, then turn out onto a piece of baking parchment and place it on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the top baking paper and leave the sponge to cool.
Once cooled, stamp out 6 x 6.5cm circles, that will form the base of your domes.
Make Chocolate Mousse:
Prepare silicone dome moulds by lining them with cling film (we tried making them with and without lining the moulds and lining them makes it a lot easier to take the domes out of the mould).
Place the egg yolks, a whole egg and caster sugar in a large bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) and using an electric hand mixer, whisk the mixture on high speed for 5-7 minutes (or longer, if needed) until the mixture at least doubles in volume, thickens and leaves a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted out. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a minute.
In the meantime, whisk 150g of the double cream to soft peaks.
Place the remaining 40g of double cream in a small saucepan and bring just up to the boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat, add finely chopped chocolate and leave it for 3 minutes to soften. Stir until smooth and no bits of chocolate remain.
Add a large spoonful of the whisked double cream to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Then carefully fold the egg and sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture. Finally, fold in the remaining the whipped cream. Try and keep as much air as possible in the mixture, working quickly but gently, to ensure the chocolate mousse stays light and aerated. Spoon, or pipe the chocolate mousse into moulds, taking care not to leave any air pockets, especially the surface.
Place the mousse filled mould in the freezer for an hour.
Make Almond Mousse:
Put gelatine in cold water and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. In the meantime, place half of the caster sugar and egg yolk in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Heat the milk, and double cream
Pour the milk and half of the double cream into a small saucepan and heat on low until the mixture is just below the boiling point. Whisking vigorously, pour it into the egg yolk mixture. Pour everything back into the pan and heat slowly, stirring continuously, for 4-5 minutes, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (if you're using a kitchen thermometer, it should be around 80C). Remove the pan from the heat, squeeze any excess moisture from your gelatine leaf and stir it into the crème anglaise together with a tsp of almond extract.
Whisk the remaining double cream to soft peaks in a separate bowl.
Place the egg whites and remaining 15g of caster sugar into a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water) and, using an electric handheld mixer, whisk to soft peaks.
Once the almond creme anglaise cooled down slightly, fold the whipped cream into it. Finally, fold in the egg whites. Pour into a small bowl and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Make Almond Brittle:
Place the caster sugar in a medium pan over medium heat, add 3 tbsp of water. Heat, without stirring (shake the pan gently if needed) until the mixture turns a dark amber colour. Take the caramel off the heat and mix in the butter and flaked almonds. Pour the nutty caramel onto a silicone mat and leave to set.
Once set, break up the brittle into smaller pieces, that you will serve with the chocolate and almond domes.
Once the chocolate mousse is set, scoop out some of it from the centre of each cavity. Fill the centre with the almond mousse. You can pipe it or simply add it with a teaspoon. Make sure the almond mousse is level with the chocolate mousse.
Place a circle of joconde sponge on top and press down gently. Cover everything with clingfilm and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. The cold will help to turn the domes out of the moulds.
Ease the domes out of their moulds by pulling on the clingfilm. Place them on a wire rack and unpeel the clingfilm carefully. Using a teaspoon, dipped in warm water, smooth over the surface of the domes to get rid of any marks clingfilm may have left. This will ensure a beautiful smooth mirror glaze. Return the domes to the fridge whilst you make the mirror glaze.
Make Mirror Glaze, Decorate & Glaze:
Heat the double cream, 75ml of water, caster sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan on low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool down for 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, soak the relative in cold water for 10 minutes. When the cocoa mixture has cooled down slightly, squeeze the moisture out of the gelatine and stir it into the cocoa. Leave the glaze to cool down (either at room temperature or in the fridge), until it has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon (if you're using a kitchen thermometer, it should be around 20C when it's ready to glaze).
Transfer the mirror glaze into a jug. Place the wire rack on a foil-lined baking tray (to save the mess of the mirror glaze drips) and pour the mirror glaze evenly over the domes. Place the glazed domes back in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
If you wish to decorate your domes, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle and pipe any pattern that you wish. Leave the chocolate to set for 5-10 minutes.
Serve your Chocolate & Almond domes with a piece of almond brittle!