Chocolate & Jasmine Sphere

Makes 6


300g (10½ oz) tempered dark (bittersweet) chocolate (see below)

½ quantity of Alhambra Chocolate Sponge (see below)

1 quantity of Fruit Compote (see below) made with raspberries and raspberry purée

1 quantity of Alcohol Syrup (see below) made with kirsch


For the jasmine tea

panna cotta:

250ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) whipping (pouring) cream

250ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) milk

½ vanilla pod (bean) split lengthways

10g (¼ oz/2 tsp) jasmine tea

4g (1/8 oz) leaf gelatine

25g (1oz) caster (superfine) sugar


To decorate:




Fraises des bois


Light fruit nappage (see below)

Jasmine flowers

Edible gold leaf


You will also need:

two chocolate moulds with six 7cm (2¾ inch) semi-spheres

a 5.5cm (2¼ inch) round metal cutter


Warm the base of a flat pan and gently melt the base of size of the semi-spheres. Fill the semi-sphere moulds with the tempered chocolate (see below) and tap well to minimize any air pockets. Turn the moulds over and tap out as much excess chocolate as possible. Place in a cool dry area and leave to set for at least 2 hours.

Prepare the jasmine tea pannacotta: put the cream and milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod (bean) into the pan and drop in the empty pod (bean) too. Bring to the boil, add the jasmine tea leaves and cover with cling film. Leave to infuse for 1 hour.

Prepare and bake the chocolate sponge as instructed. Leave to cool, then cut out 6 discs measuring 5.5cm (2¼ inches) in diameter.

Prepare the raspberry compote and place in a shallow tray to cool. Prepare the kirsch syrup, cool, then store both in airtight containers in the fridge.

Continue to prepare the jasmine panna cotta. Soak the gelatine in a bowl of ice-cold water for a few minutes until soft. Squeeze the gelatine to remove excess water (see below). Strain the milk and cream into another pan, add the sugar and bring back to the boil. Take off the heat and dissolve the soaked gelatine into the mix. Pour through a sieve (strainer) into a jug and leave to cool to room temperature.

Demould the chocolate semi-spheres from the moulds. Place 6 semi-spheres into 5cm (2 inch) moulds to keep them sitting flat. Place the remaining 6 on a tray. Gently warm a 5.5cm (2. inch) metal cutter and cut out a hole at an angle in each of the semi-spheres for the top.

Place a tablespoon of the prepared compote into the base of the chocolate semisphere. Top with a disc of chocolate sponge and soak with the kirsch syrup.

Pour the jasmine panna cotta on top so that the semi-sphere is almost full, then transfer to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

Remove the base semi-spheres from the fridge and place on a serving tray. Decorate with the fresh fruits. Glaze the fruits with the nappage.

Warm the base of a flat pan and gently melt the top of the semi-spheres and place them on top. Decorate with jasmine flowers and gold leaf to finish.

Tempering chocolate

The seeding method is a great way to temper chocolate; it requires no marble and it is very clean. You will need a porringer pot or double boiler – if you have neither of these you will need a classic Bain-Marie, a metal bowl placed over a pan of simmering water and a thermometer.

300g (10½ oz) dark (plain/bittersweet) chocolate (65% cocoa solids min) finely chopped (or use chocolate chips)

Put two-thirds of the chopped chocolate into the porringer pot, double boiler or over a bain-marie (water bath). Do not boil the water as this may scald the chocolate. Stir regularly until all the chocolate has completely melted and has reached 45–50°C (113–122°F), ensuring the chocolate has melted evenly. 

Gradually add the remaining chocolate – this is the seed. Stir vigorously and continue to stir until all of the chocolate has fully melted and the chocolate cools to 31–32°C (88–90°F) and thickens. If the temperature drops below this, simply warm it up over the bainmarie again. 


Alhambra Chocolate Sponge

Makes two 30 x 40cm (12 x 16 inch) baking trays (sheets)

200g (7oz) whole eggs (about 4 eggs)

50g (1¾ oz) egg yolks (about 2–3 eggs)

100g (3½ oz/1 scant stick) unsalted butter

80g (3oz/1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

25g (1oz/1¾ tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour

25g (1oz/1¾ tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch)

30g (1¼ oz/2 tbsp) cocoa powder

Make the sponge following the Genoise method opposite. Split the mixture in two and pour them into the prepared trays (sheets) or baking mats. Bake for about 15 minutes.


Fruit Compote

Makes 200g (7oz)

15g (1 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar

5g (1 tsp) pectin

100g (3½ oz) Fruit Puree (see opposite), made using


100g (3½ oz) whole redcurrants (or other fruit)

Mix together the sugar and pectin in a small bowl.

Put the fruit purée and whole fruit in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the pectin and sugar and cook for 2–3 minutes. 

Pour into a shallow tray, then leave to cool before transferring to the fridge. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3–4 days.


Simple Syrup

Makes 800ml (24fl oz/3½ cups)

190g (6¾ oz/scant 1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

225ml (8fl oz/scant 1 cup) water

1½ peels of lemon zest

½ vanilla pod (bean) split lengthways

Put the water, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod (bean) into the water and drop in the empty pod (bean) too. 

Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. 

Take off the heat and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.


Alcohol syrup

Make the Simple Syrup, then add 200ml (7fl oz/scant 1 cup) alcohol of your choice (such as Grand Marnier, rum or kirsch) once the syrup has cooled.


Light Fruit Nappage

Makes 625g (1lb 4oz)

300ml (½ pint/1¼ cups) water

300g (10½ oz) liquid glucose

40g (1½ oz/scant ¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar

18g (¾ oz) pectin

Place the water and glucose in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Mix together the sugar and pectin in a small bowl, whisk into the boiling mixture and cook for about

2–3 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and leave to cool before transferring to the fridge. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 1 week.


Patisserie by William and Suzue Curley, £40 Jacqui Small