Melissa Barth's Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse and Banana Dessert

Posh pastry chef Melissa Barth followed her older brother into a culinary program in high school, hit the pastry station, and found her niche. After completing the pastry and baking program at the Culinary Institute of America, Melissa did an externship at The Atlantic Inn on Block Island and worked at The Cupcake Station in Birmingham MI before landing in Phoenix. Word of mouth led her to Posh where she creates dessert compositions to complement the improv menu. Melissa shares her recipe for a composition of chocolate cake layered with sautéed bananas and peanut butter mousse served with crème fraiche ice cream and macerated berries.

recipe after the jump

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse and Bananas with Crème Fraiche Ice Cream and Berries
Melissa Barth

Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
2/3-cup dark cocoa powder
2.5 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ea vanilla bean
2/3-cup vegetable oil
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons vinegar

1. Sift together dry ingredients
2. Combine remaining ingredients in mixer
3. With paddle attachment, gradually add dry ingredients until just blended
4. Pour and spread on half sheet pan
5. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until middle springs back

Peanut Butter Mousse

2 cups heavy cream
2.5 teaspoons gelatin powder, bloomed
¼ cup peanut butter
¾ cups powdered sugar

1. Heat 1 cup cream
2. Pour over bloomed gelatin
3. Add remaining cream
4. Allow to set for 3 hours
5. Combine remaining ingredients
6. Whip on medium-high for 5 minutes
7. Spread on plastic wrapped half sheet pan, cover, refrigerate

Chocolate Ganache Coating Ingredients 1# dark, semi-sweet chocolate, cut up 8 oz hot water ½ cup powdered sugar

2 oz white chocolate, melted-for garnish, place in piping bag

1.Pour hot water over chocolate
2. Once chocolate has melted, stir in powdered sugar

Crème Fraiche Ice Cream
Ingredients for crème fraiche
1-cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon buttermilk
Combine ingredients, stand at room temperature for 24 hours
Ingredients for Ice Cream
1-cup crème fraiche
1-cup buttermilk
1-teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
Combine ingredients; follow directions from ice cream maker manufacturer

Macerated Berries
6-8 large strawberries, cleaned, sliced
¼ cup fresh raspberries
1-cup simple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla bean-optional
4 teaspoons black cherry brandy
1. Warm simple syrup
2. Pour over berries, sit overnight

Assemble and Plate
5 bananas
Chocolate cake
Peanut butter mousse
Chocolate ganache coating
White chocolate,
Macerated berries
Crème fraiche ice cream

Sauté bananas in butter, cool

1. Turn cake out onto parchment paper
2. Spread bananas over peanut butter mousse
3. Flip cake onto bananas, press to even distribution
4. Turn cake back onto parchment
5. Trim edges
6. Score 1.5-inch squares, cut with knife dipped (then dried) in hot water
7. Coat with ganache, garnish with white chocolate
8. Serve with macerated berries and crème fraiche ice cream

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