As part of a dessert party we hosted on the weekend, my daughter and I got really excited to see these verrines in the Duchess Bake Shop cookbook. Not only were they beautiful to look at, they were very seasonal, featuring caramelized apples in the middle.
The idea of a verrine is something I didn’t have any experience with. Not only did we not have any specific glass vessels to serve this in, we had to rummage around our house to collect eight 250mL canning jars.
My daughter and I started with the joconde, a thin cake layer made out of ground almonds. I showed her how to fold in the egg white meringue carefully, to preserve all of the incorporated air. After baking, she used a round cookie cutter to make little circles that we stored between parchment paper in an airtight container.
Next up: the caramelized apples. I made a dry caramel, then embellished it with apple juice (from a juice box!) and diced fruit. It took a while for the apples to soften, but that might have been the variety I used. I drained the mixture and put the cooked fruit in the fridge.
I happened to have some leftover, unbaked streusel, so I just added some powdered ginger and cinnamon to it, to have it match the dessert better. The mousse is extremely simple: melted chocolate, whipped cream, and glucose.
For assembly, we piped the mousse using a small round tip, and tried not to make a mess on the sides of the glass. The mousse was quite runny, but firmed up quickly. Our cake rounds were slightly too small, and next time I’ll know to size them to be more snug to the edge. Store-bought chocolate shards adorned the top, and streusel sprinkled on the surface right before serving completed the garnish.
This layered dessert was definitely a showstopper, and everyone enjoyed it. It’s a pretty large portion for a dessert party though, and I wish we had made them about half as big. But, we loved the combination of cake, fruit, creamy, crunchy, and the presentation was very impressive!