HomeRecipesChocolate-Kalamansi Petite Gateaux by Dee Steffen Chinn

Chocolate-Kalamansi Petite Gateaux by Dee Steffen Chinn

As I planned my summer menu for Tiger Mama, I knew I wanted a light chocolate dessert. When ordering chocolate desserts, I am always looking for that dish that has acidity and fruitiness. This is a huge reason I chose blackberries and kalamansi to pair with the chocolate mousse cake. It’s the perfect time to go to my local farmers’ market and pick up blackberries to use in desserts, and kalamansi juice gives me that acidity. The Chocolate-Kalamansi Petite Gateaux checks all of the boxes for a chocolate dessert I would order.

Yield: 8 servings

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

  • 236 g hot water
  • 113 g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 210 g gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 100 g dark cocoa powder
  • 14 g baking soda
  • 59 g baking powder
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 242 g buttermilk
  1. Bring some water to a boil. Once boiled, measure out 236 g of water.
  2. Add butter to the water and allow to melt.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and combine well.
  4. In a separate bowl, measure out eggs and yolks. Whisk together eggs, yolks and buttermilk.
  5. Mix the egg/buttermilk mixture into the sifted dry ingredients. Add the butter-water mixture to the bowl and mix until combined. Bake in 1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment paper at 325˚F.
  6. The cake will be cooled and sliced in half, then filled with a layer of Kalamansi Caramel Cream and fresh black berries.

Kalamansi Caramel

  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 240 g heavy cream, warmed
  • 59 g kalamansi puree
  • 2 g unsalted butter, soft
  • 8 g salt
  1. Use the dry method to caramelize the sugar.
  2. Whisk in heavy cream a little at a time.
  3. Add the kalamansi puree.
  4. Whisk in the butter and salt.
  5. Set a little aside for plating. The rest will be used in the caramel cream.

Dee Steffen Chinn_Chocolate-Kalamansi Petite Gateaux _J-M Leach

Kalamansi Caramel Cream

  • 960 g heavy cream
  • 328 g Kalamansi Caramel, cooled
  1. Whip the heavy cream to medium-stiff peaks.
  2. Add the caramel (which should stay cold), and whisk until all comes together.
  3. Spread onto the first layer of chocolate cake.

Blackberry Gel

  • 232 g blackberry puree
  • 60 g simple syrup
  • 35 g Ultratex 3
  1. In a blender, make a vortex with the puree and syrup. Add 1 Tbs of Ultratex at a time, until mixture is super-thick.

Blackberry Cream

  • 960 g heavy cream
  • 327 g Blackberry Gel
  1. Whip heavy cream to medium peaks.
  2. Whisk in Blackberry Gel.
  3. Fill a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip with the cream.

Chocolate Mousse

  • 15 g gelatin sheets
  • 450 g Guittard 72% bittersweet chocolate
  • 177 g water, boiling
  • 108 g egg yolks
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g water
  • 20 g corn syrup
  • 1440 g heavy cream, whipped to medium-stiff peaks
  1. Bloom the gelatin.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate; whisk until smooth.
  3. Begin mixing the yolks at medium speed with whisk attachment as you bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to 238˚F.
  4. Once syrup has reached desired temperature, add bloomed gelatin. Pour into the mixing bowl of whipping yolks. Let whip until cooled.
  5. Fold yolk mixture into chocolate mixture. Fold chocolate/yolk mixture into whipped cream.
  6. Fill silicone cylinder mold 1/2 way with mousse. Press a piece of sliced cake into each mousse filled mold, then spread to make level with mold. Freeze to easily pop out mousse from Flexi mold.

Kalamansi Chocolate Glaze

  • 100 g water
  • 200 g kalamansi puree
  • 600 g granulated sugar
  • 400 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 700 g Guittard 31% white chocolate
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 30 g gelatin sheets, bloomed
  1. In a saucepan, bring the water, puree, sugar and sweetened condensed milk to a boil. Stir in bloomed gelatin. Pour over white chocolate and blend with a hand blender. Strain and let cool before glazing each chocolate mousse.


  • Tangerine lace
  • Crispy chocolate pearls
  • Fresh blackberries, sliced
  1. Place a glazed chocolate mousse cylinder in the center of the plate. Imagine there is a line going right through the center of the cake. Only decorate 1/2 of the plate.
  2. Pipe different sized dollops of Blackberry Cream on the plate and on the petite gateaux. Place sliced blackberries next to every other star of cream. Pipe small drops of Kalamansi Caramel in between the cream and blackberries. Place a couple of crispy chocolate pearls on each dollop of cream. Finish by placing tangerine lace next to every sliced blackberry.

About Dee Steffen Chinn

Dee Steffen Chinn is the award-winning pastry chef for Boston’s Big Heart Hospitality, the successful restaurant group from two-time James Beard nominated chef Tiffani Faison. Here she creates all of the dessert and brunch offerings for the group’s Southeast Asian inspired restaurant, Tiger Mama, local barbecue mecca, Sweet Cheeks Q, Faison’s adult snack bar, Fool’s Errand and the soon to open Italian-American restaurant, Orfano. Dee was recently named “Best Pastry Chef” in Boston Magazine’s 2019 “Best of Boston” issue. 

 *Photo Credit: J-M Leach

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