My first attempt at making aero chocolate turned out pretty well, but I was not satisfied with the final texture, which I found to be too dense. As I was considering making it again, my copy of Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work arrived, complete with the detailed aero chocolate recipe. A quick read revealed my mistakes: I had used N2O instead of CO2 to aerate the mixture, and had not allowed it to cool down to 52°C before dispensing it in the jars.
When we were invited to dinner this week and asked to bring dessert, I viewed the request as an opportunity to try the recipe again. If I corrected the errors the chocolate would turn out better, and if I failed it would still taste pretty good. I followed the same procedure as before, this time using 64% Manjari chocolate, and doubling the amount of blood orange oil from four to eight drops. I blended everything together and let it cool to 125°F. I charged the mixture with two CO2 canisters and piped it into smooth-walled eight-ounce mason jars.
I could see that the chocolate mixture was lighter and airier as I dispensed it. I capped the jars and put them in the freezer until it was time to serve. To remove the chocolate, I ran a thin spatula around the outside of the chocolate and slid it out in a solid cylinder. I plated it with some Mandarin orange syrup, a scoop of Meyer lemon ice cream, and a Meyer lemon crisp.
The texture was much better this time around, more mousse-like. The orange flavor was subtle but noticeable, a complement to the lemon from the ice cream and biscuit. What I loved most about this dessert was how easy it was to prepare. I think I’ll be keeping a supply of chocolate and CO2 canisters in the Belm Utility Research Kitchen from now on.