The sidewalks of Bilbao are covered in a very unique paving stone, designed in the first half of the 20th century especially for the rainy city. It is so unique, in fact, that it has become an unmistakable symbol of the city and, when several years ago they tried replacing the paving stone for a standard cheaper one, everyone was so outraged that they decided to continue using the rosetta paving stone.
Photo from Wikipedia
Which is why a few years ago the pastry chefs in town decided to join forces to design a cake based on this symbol. The cake “La Baldosa de Bilbao” (Bilbao’s paving stone) has the exact same design as the stone and is made of coffee mousse, toffee, and a cakey base. My favorite version of this cake is sold at the Zurikaldai bakery in Neguri, and it is basically the only store bought cake I eat.
So when my mom went to a cooking class a couple of months ago taught by Zurikaldai’s pastry chef (Kimetz Garate) and he gave them the recipe for the coffee mousse that they use in the cake, I knew I had to make a dessert with the mousse right away. Since the mousse is quite rich, I decided to make it a small dessert: a thin layer of chocolate cookie crumbs and coffee mousse topped with salted caramel served in individual portions. They were the perfect ending to our NYE’s dinner and, since it can be made ahead, I think it’s a great dessert to serve at a fancy dinner party.
Coffee Mousse & Salted Caramel Mini DessertCoffee Mousse recipe by Kimetz Garate from Zurikaldai Bakery. Crumbs + salted caramel recipes are my own creations.
Note the proportions. There’s twice the amount (in weight) of dry ingredients (flour+cocoa) than butter, and twice the butter (also in weight) than sugar; so you can easily scale the recipe as you wish.
- 90g flour
- 10g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 50g butter, softened
- 25g white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together into crumbs (you can use your hands).
- Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake until top crumbs start to crisp. Remove from oven and let cool. Separate crumbs with a fork before they cool completely.
- 7oz (200g) white sugar
- 3 cups (70cl) water
- 1 3/4 cups (400ml) heavy cream
- 0.35oz (10g) instant coffee granules
- 5 egg yolks
- 6 gelatin sheets
- 1.75lb (800g) heavy cream, whipped
- Make a dark caramel with the sugar and water. Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream. When the caramel is ready, add the heavy cream very carefully.
- In a bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks for a few seconds and slowly add the caramel & heavy cream mixture. Pour this mixture into a pot and cook at medium temperature, stirring constantly, until a custard forms. Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit, until it’s warm but not hot.
- Hydrate the gelatin and strain, then dissolve the sheets in the warm egg and caramel mixture. Add the coffee and mix.
- Whip the rest of the heavy cream (the 1.75 lb whipped cream) and slowly fold it into the egg and caramel mixture.
- 3.5oz (100g) white sugar
- 1.5 cups (35cl) water
- 3/4 cups heavy cream, approx
- 1.75oz (50g) butter, approx
- 1-2 tsp salt, to taste
- Make a very dark caramel with the white sugar and water (the darker the caramel the better it pairs with the salt). Add the heavy cream carefully, then mix the butter until it melts.
- Remove from heat and let it cool a bit, then add the salt slowly, tasting as you add. Let the caramel cool completely before drizzling on top of the mousse.
In small glasses or jars, start with a thin layer of cookie crumbs. Continue with the coffee mousse until the glass is almost filled (I used a pastry bag for this step). End with a drizzle or very thin layer of salted caramel. Store in the fridge and take it out 30 minutes before serving time.