Tea-smoked Maricaibo Chocolate Ganache, Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse, African Red Bush Ice Cream
For the Dehydrated Mousse:
Combine chocolate and salt in a large mixing bowl and melt over bain marie. Add egg yolks and combine. Separately whip whites until foamy, then sprinkle in sugar while continuing to whisk to create medium peaks. Fold whites into chocolate in three additions. Spray silk dehydrator sheet with non-stick spray, spread mousse on sheet, and set in the dehydrator until completely dried.
For the Apricot Meringue Dots:
Whisk together sugar and egg white powder. In a large bowl, whisk sugar mixture into egg whites and place over a bain marie. Heat to 110°F, whisking constantly. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip to medium peaks. Add purée and whip just to incorporate. Using a #2 piping tip, pipe tiny meringue kisses onto a silk dehydrator sheet and set in dehydrator until completely dried.
For the African Red Bush Ice Cream:
In a small bowl, combine sugar, monosterate, and ice cream stabilizer. In a saucepot, heat milk to 4°C, then whisk in milk powder. Continue heating to 25°C, then add glucose and inverted sugar. Continue heating to 40°C, then whisk in egg yolks. Stirring constantly, heat mixture to 45°C, and add sugar-stabilizer mixture. Stirring constantly, continue heating to 85°C, and hold there for two minutes. Remove from heat and strain base through a chinois. Chill and allow to mature overnight. Strain and burr mix base once more before processing in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
For the Chocolate Brownies:
Preheat oven to 300˚F. In a mixing bowl set over a steam bath, combine chocolate and butter and warm to melt. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk together. Fold chocolate mixture into egg mixture, then incorporate flour. Transfer batter to a parchment-lined quarter sheet tray and bake 30 to 40 minutes. Cool fully, then cut into cubes.
For the Chocolate Pudding:
In a saucepot combine milk, glucose, and inverted sugar and heat. Separately, whisk together sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch, and then whisk in yolks. Temper warm dairy mixture into yolk mixture, whisking briskly. Return everything to the pot and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils for 2 minutes. Transfer pudding to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low-speed. Add chocolate in increments to melt into pudding, and continue mixing until cool. Add butter and mix until incorporated. Pour into a hotel pan and press plastic to the surface; chill.
For the Apricot Coulis:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepot, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Strain mixture into a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour immediately into two hotel pans and chill in cooler until set. Once set return to blender and purée until smooth. Strain through a chinois.
For the Croustillant:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepot, combine fondant and glucose and cook to 300°F. Pour on a silicone baking mat in a thin layer, allow to cool completely, and break into small pieces. Place in blender and pulse until the sugar becomes a very fine powder. Using a small sifter, sift the powder over stencils on a sprayed silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs then place in oven. Check and rotate the pans until the sugar melts and is clear. Cool fully, and store in airtight containers with desiccant.
For the Flexible Ganache:
In a saucepot combine water, sorbitol, glucose and agar agar and bring to a boil. Add cream and salt and return to boil. Meanwhile, place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Pour half the agar liquid through a chinois over chocolate and stir until melted. Add the remaining liquid and stir to combine, trying not to incorporate air bubbles. Line a baking pan with acetate and metal candy bars set to 10-inches wide. Pour ganache between candy bars and refrigerate overnight. Cut ganache with the narrowest setting on a guitar cutter to create 10-inch strips. Place strips on acetate-lined sheet tray and build a smoke box around them. Smoke chocolate by burning African red bush tea; smoke for three hours, exchange tea leaves for a fresh batch, and smoke another three hours.
To Assemble and Serve: