The tricky part of this impressive dessert is making the domes – but care and patience will reward you with big compliments from your guests.
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Skill level: Challenging
For the brownies:
190g caster sugar
140g unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
40g cocoa powder
50g self-raising flour
50g dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp Chambord liqueur
For the chocolate ball:
600g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
edible gold dust
For the mascarpone cream:
100g double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the raspberry syllabub:
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp Chambord liqueur
125g extra-thick double cream
75ml muscat or other sweet dessert wine
For the coulis:
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp Chambord liqueur
2 tbsp icing sugar
You will also need:
18cm square shallow cake tin, lined with baking paper
Sugar or chocolate thermometer
4 small balloons
4 glass tumblers
Kitchen blow torch
Baking tray lined with baking paper
3cm round biscuit cutter
Small disposable piping bag
6.5cm round biscuit cutter
Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Step 2 – Make the brownies. Place the sugar and softened butter in a bowl and mix together with an electric hand whisk until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then beat in the cocoa and flour. Stir in the chocolate chips and Chambord. Spread the mixture in the prepared tin and bake for about 25–30 minutes, until the top is firm but springy. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin a little, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 3 – Meanwhile, make the chocolate balls. Put 450g of the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water, until it reaches 42°C on a sugar or chocolate thermometer. Remove the bowl from the pan, add the rest of the chocolate and stir until melted and the heat has reduced to 28°C. Put the bowl back on the pan of simmering water, and reheat the chocolate to 31°C. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Step 4 – Blow up the balloons to about 12.5cm in diameter. Place 1 balloon onto each of the 4 glass tumblers, tied end downwards. One by one, hold the tied end and dip the balloons into the melted chocolate to cover at least half way up the sides, resting them back on the glasses as you go. Transfer to the fridge for at least 15 minutes, to set.
Step 5 – Once set, carefully dip each balloon again, this time chilling for 30 minutes, until set hard. Snip the tied end of the balloon to deflate, then very carefully peel the balloon away from the chocolate. Place the domes on the lined baking tray and keep chilled.
Step 6 – Use the blowtorch to heat a metal tray or nonstick frying pan, then carefully melt the bottom of each dome to make an opening large enough to go over the dessert. Chill the domes again for 5 minutes, then heat a 3cm round cutter on the hot surface of the metal tray or frying pan and press onto the chocolate domes to cut holes. Chill the domes again until you’re ready to serve.
Step 7 – Make the mascarpone cream. Whisk together all the ingredients until thick and combined, then place in a small, disposable piping bag.
Step 8 – Make the syllabub. Put half the raspberries in a bowl, squash them with a metal spoon and sprinkle over the sugar. (Reserve the other half to serve.) Put the cream in a separate bowl and stir. Fold the Chambord and the sweet wine into the cream, then stir in the crushed raspberries. Set aside.
Step 9 – To make the coulis, place the raspberries in a frying pan with the lemon juice, Chambord and icing sugar. Place over a medium heat and cook for 2–3 minutes, until softened. Push the mixture through a sieve into a small bowl or jug. Discard the pips.
Step 10 – Cut out rounds of brownie using the 6.5cm cutter and slice each round in half, to make 2 discs (8 discs altogether). Drizzle the discs with Chambord.
Step 11 – Place 1 disc on each of 4 serving plates. Snip the end of the piping bag and pipe cream on each disc, top with the remaining discs and spoon on the syllabub. Top with a couple of the reserved fresh raspberries and place 1 chocolate dome over each prepared dessert. Spray with edible gold dust, then decorate the plate with a few more fresh raspberries. Chill each dessert until you’re ready to serve.
Step 12 – To serve, heat the coulis in a small pan over a medium heat until hot, then serve in a little jug or cup for your guests to spoon over the domes, so that the domes melt to fully reveal the dessert inside.