My Version of the Grasshopper

It seems that there are a thousand different grasshopper recipes. Some come in pie form, others seem more cakey (did I just make up a word?). I’ve been working with acetate and ring moulds at work recently as well as reading Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar recipe book where I fell in love with their approach to cake design. Using acetate to hold the cake together as it sets allows us to see the beautiful colors and textures that go into making a fantastic dessert. I decided to try it out in my own kitchen, on a smaller scale, creating my own twist on a classic.

My grasshopper is layered with:

  • Dark chocolate brownie (use a 3 1/2 inch baking ring to cut out circles. You should have at least 9).
  • Mint buttercream
  • Crumbled thin mint cookies
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Toasted marshmallows
  • Chocolate tuile cookie

Once you have all of the components together you will need to cut a piece of acetate to approximately 9″x5″ and wrap it along the inside of a 3 1/2″ baking ring mould. Put a piece of scotch tape on the edge to hold it together.

   

Dark Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Foil and spray a 9×13-inch baking pan. Set aside 1/3 cup morsels.
  2. Heat 1 1/3 cups chocolate, sugar, butter and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate and butter are melted. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in eggs, one at a time, with wire whisk until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour and salt; stir well. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup dark chocolate. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool in pan on wire rack. You can then remove the brownie using the foil as a handle, or cut out the circles in the pan using a 3 1/2 inch baking ring.

Mint Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • green food coloring

Directions:

  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add mint and green dye, and beat just until combined.

Thin Mint Crumbs

Thin Mint Recipe can be found here. Feel free to half it, as  it makes more than enough cookies for your grasshopper… You can also freeze any unused dough.

You will not need the last two ingredients, the chocolate and butter, as these cookies will not be glazed. Once the cookies are out of the oven and cooled, either run them through a food processor or put them in a zip-lock bag and take a hammer to them (I prefer this way… It allows you to get out any aggression you may have). VOILA! You have thin mint crumbs!

Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool before using. This can be made a couple of days in advance.

Chocolate Tuile

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
 Directions:
  1. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
  2. Lower the speed and add the flour/cocoa mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  4. . Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat and place the stencil on it. Using a spatula, place a small amount of the batter on the mat and spread out evenly and thin.  Repeat for more cookies.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and while still hot, remove them from the pan and place them either over a rolling pin, over a glass, in the hollows of an empty egg carton or take a bench scraper and roll the tuiles up into a cigarette shape. Allow to sit a few minutes to harden and cool. Store in an airtight container.

Assembly:

  • First place a brownie circle in the bottom of the acetate ring.
  • Next pipe in a layer of buttercream.
  • Sprinkle a layer of thin mint crumbs.
  • Pipe in a layer of ganache.
  • Repeat.
  • Top with a brownie circle then finish it with a mound of toasted marshmallows or a dollop of buttercream. Place a chocolate tuile on top.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

A note on assembly: There is obviously no hard and fast rule here. Do whatever makes your skirt fly up. Just try to keep at least three layers of brownie as it gives the dessert more stability.

Lastly…. ENJOY!

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