Crema de Chocolate at La Sirena

Crema de Chocolate y Azafrán


Serves 12 people

For the chocolate crémeux:

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

6 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

10 ½ ounces Valrhona 70% Guanaja chocolate


For the saffron mousse:

6 ounces Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate

1 teaspoon glucose syrup

1/3 cup milk

A pinch of saffron

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 gelatin sheet, bloomed


for the orange saffron poundcake:

6 ounces butter

10 ½ ounces sugar

5 eggs

1/2 whole vanilla bean

Zest of 1/2 lemon

6 ounces sour cream

5 ounces flour

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/4 tablespoon baking soda

½ ounce orange saffron water*


For the blood orange granita:

1 kilogram blood orange puree

2 ½ ounces cava (or any champagne or prosecco)

1 tablespoon grapefruit juice

¾ teaspoon kosher salt


For the final presentation:

Salted marcona almonds

Valrhona dark chocolate pearls


*Infuse orange blossom water with a few strands of saffron for a day or two to use in this recipe.


Make the chocolate crémeux:

Place cream and milk in a sauce pot with half the sugar. Heat slowly over low flame. In a bowl, whisk other half of sugar with yolks. Pour a little bit of the hot liquid into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly until incorporated. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot and stir vigorously over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly, taking care not to curdle the eggs. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour the custard over it, then gently stir until everything is combined and you have a glossy chocolate mixture. Divide mixture evenly into 12 glasses. Let set in refrigerator.


Make the saffron mousse:

Melt white chocolate and glucose in a bowl over a double boiler, stirring continually. The mixture will look broken initially but will come back together after whisking. Once chocolate is melted and looks smooth, remove from heat and set aside. Heat milk with saffron in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Strain hot saffron milk over melted white chocolate, add heavy cream and stir to combine. Add gelatin and whisk until completely melted and incorporated.


Refrigerate at least five hours before using.


Make the orange saffron poundcake:

Infuse orange blossom water with a few strands of saffron for a day or two to use in this recipe.


In a bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, vanilla bean scrapings and lemon zest together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer with paddle until light and fluffy. Incorporate eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl, until everything is incorporated.


Add dry ingredients and sour cream little by little, alternating. Add orange water. Line a quarter sheet pan (or baking sheet approximately 9 ½- by 12 ½-inches) with parchment paper and spread the batter in evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and feels firm to the touch at the center. Let cool. Cut into small cubes.


Make the blood orange granita:

Mix all ingredients together in a shallow metal baking dish. Place in freezer for one hour, uncovered. Remove from freezer—if the mixture has started forming ice crystals, use a fork to “rake” it and mix well. Place back in freezer and keep checking the mixture every half hour or so, raking every time, until you have well defined crystals of granita.


Assemble the dish:

Take the glass with the cremeux out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for half an hour. When ready to serve, place a big spoonful of the saffron mousse on top of the cremeux and to one side. Place five salted marcona almonds on top, 7 or 8 Valrhona Dark Chocolate pearls and five or six pound cake cubes. Place one or two heaping spoons of granita on top, making sure not to cover the saffron mousse completely. Then top with two or three petals of yellow, orange or red edible nasturtium flowers as the final garnish.  


Serve at once.

See the recipe

Yumbang Oh Yeah

Crema de Chocolate at La Sirena

At the Tapas Bar at La Sirena, pastry chef Thea Habjanic whips up a decadent chocolate cremeux topped with saffron mousse, orange saffron poundcake and blood orange granita.

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