(This recipe appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
This dessert was inspired by my Japanese palate, that craves balanced nuances that leave you feeling weightless. Sake kasu is the leftover spent yeast from fermenting sake, which has a lightly fermented flavor with sweet rice notes and a mild tartness. I wanted to pair the delicate flavors of the sake kasu with the soft velvety chocolate tones of TCHO’s 81% chocolate. I love sharing my flavor memories through creating dishes that complement both my cultural background as well as any sweet tooth.
Yield: One 6ʺ square baking pan, about 12-16 servings
Sake Kasu Chocolate Decadence
- 88 g TCHO 68% Fruity Dark Chocolate from Peru
- 40 g TCHO 81% Extra Dark Chocolate
- 57 g TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder
- 170 g unsalted butter
- 180 g agave syrup
- 85 g Junmai sake (preferred brand: Kato Sake Works)
- 80 g sake kasu (lees)
- 150 g whole eggs
- 20 g egg yolks
- 2 g vanilla extract
- 2 g fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300˚F (149˚C). Fully line the interior of a 6ʺ (15.24 cm) square baking pan with foil and gently oil (spray, brush with butter, etc.).
- Over a double boiler, place the chocolate and cocoa powder into a glass bowl and begin melting. Make sure to stir and create a homogenous mixture (i.e., no dry cocoa pockets). Take off heat and place the bowl on a towel once fully melted (reserve the hot water for later use).
- In another pot, bring butter, agave, sake and sake kasu to a simmer. While warm, pour sake mixture over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk the eggs and yolks into the chocolate mixture while being mindful not to “cook” the eggs (which might happen if the mixture is too hot). Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Pour through a fine mesh strainer straight into the prepared baking pan. Open your oven and slightly pull out the rack you will be baking on. Place your water bath pan onto the rack. Place your strained decadence baking pan inside the larger pan. Pour the warm reserved water (reheat to a steam, if cooled) into the larger pan, careful not to splash onto decadence. Pour the water bath to just at or slightly above the height of decadence and slide rack back into place. (Don’t let the water slosh and splash!) Bake until the decadence is set. When tapped, the mixture moves as one (like Jello) versus ripples (as with a wave). Depending on the depth of decadence and pan size used, baking time is anywhere from 35-60 minutes. Once set, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight.
Whipped Yogurt Cream
- 6 g confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp powdered yogurt
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 227 g heavy cream, cold
- 15 g vanilla extract
- Sift dry ingredients together into a mixer bowl.
- Add the cream and vanilla extract and whip until it forms medium-firm peaks.
- Cocoa powder or freeze-dried fruit powder
- Freeze-dried Mandarin segments (or fruit of your preference)
- Carefully unmold the decadence and, if cutting, use a sharp, hot knife that is wiped clean between cuts.
- Pipe Whipped Yogurt Cream on top of decadence cake using a St. Honore pastry tip. Using a small pastry sifter, dust cocoa powder or freeze-dried fruit powder, on top. Garnish with freeze- dried Mandarin segments (or your fruit of preference).
Photo credit: Brian Benton
About Erin Kanagy-Loux
Chef Erin is the Chef, Consultant, Recipe & Product Development, Pastry & Bakery Operations Specialist. She competed in Valrhona Chocolate’s first USA-hosted C3 Competition and received the bronze