As I've said before, the most popular Fire in the Triad dishes are always desserts, even when the featured ingredient is savory. Incorporating BOTH pork butt and bacon into each course expertly is an impressive feat.
The highest scoring dish of the night with 26 out of 30 points, this course will be requested time and time again, I bet. Below is the chocolate mousse recipe from Competition Dining veteran from Team Noble's Grille, Lucia Renzi-Bobby. Following that is a recipe for chocolate covered bacon bits by me.
A thin, chocolate sponge cake is layered with the smooth, light and creamy chocolate mousse and layered on top with a smooth, dark chocolate glaçage [gla-SAHJ].
|Chef John Bobby plating|
1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream
8 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 lb bittersweet chocolate
Using a chilled mixing bowl and chilled beaters, whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. The tip of the peak of the cream should curl over on itself when the beaters are lifted. Refrigerate until needed.
In a large saucepan, boil sugar and water to 180 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and whole eggs. Temper the egg mixture with a little bit of the 180 degree boiled sugar water: pour a small amount of the liquid into the eggs, whisk and then add the remaining liquid into the egg mixture. In a large bowl or mixer, use a whisk or whisk attachment and whip egg eggs to ribbon stage. The mixture will be pale, thick and fall back into the bowl in ribbons. Place the bowl of whipped egg within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick.
Break chocolate into smaller pieces and melt on top of a double boiler, stirring constantly. Alternatively, melt chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally to around 110 degrees F.
Next, Then fold the melted chocolate into the thickened egg mixture. Fold one-third of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of whipped cream just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.
|Pastry chef, Lucia Renzi-Bobby carefully placing the cake on over 140 plates|
16 slices applewood smoked bacon, thick cut, cooked crisp and cooled, in bits
12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate chips
Melt the dark chocolate in a medium saucepan with a few drops of heavy cream. Whisk until completely smooth. Remove them from the heat.
Pour the bacon bits into the melted chocolate and make sure it is completely coated. Using a fork or a slotted spoon, let the excess chocolate drip off and lay on a parchment or waxed paper lined sheet tray.
Repeat with all of the bacon bits.
Put the sheet tray in the refrigerator to set, about 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the sheet tray to a serving dish and serve with the chocolate mousse.
Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm. Garnish with chocolate covered bacon bits.