Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza of Sona in Los Angeles, CA on
Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza

401 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 659-7708

Smoked White Chocolate Mousse with Meyer Lemon Granita and Shiso Ice Cream
Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza of Sona – Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by

Smoked White Chocolate Mousse, Meyer Lemon Granita and Shiso Ice Cream from Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza of Sona in Los Angeles on Yield: 10 Servings


    White Chocolate Mousse:
  • 1-2 pounds mesquite smoking chips
  • 200 grams white chocolate
  • 150 grams heavy cream
  • 180 grams egg whites

    Meyer Lemon Granita:
  • 4 threads saffron
  • 1 liter Meyer lemon juice
  • 500 grams sugar
  • 500 grams water
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

    Shiso Ice Cream:
  • 280 grams milk
  • 150 grams heavy cream
  • 18 grams milk powder
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 8 shiso leaves, plus additional for garnish*

    * Shiso, also known as perilla, beefsteak plant or Japanese basil, is a crepe-textured, jagged-edged leaf. It is related to mint and basil, and its flavor is reminiscent of both. Shiso leaves can be found in Asian markets or gourmet food stores.

  • Nougatine:
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 75 grams Linzer cookie crumbs, dried


For White Chocolate Mousse:
To smoke the chocolate, place the wood chips in a heavy bottom cast-iron pan over high heat on a burner. Allow them to heat until they begin to burn and smoke, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chocolate in a bowl and place the bowl in a large hotel pan. Once the wood chips are smoking, move them to one side of the hotel pan and place the bowl of chocolate on the other side; cover with an airtight lid and leave it to sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes for the smoke to perfume the chocolate.

To make the mousse, melt the smoked chocolate in a bain marie, and keep it warm. In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 3 minutes, mix thoroughly with a spatula, then slowly add the egg whites; mix until well incorporated.

Transfer mixture to a whipped cream siphon, close it with the lid, and add one cartridge of gas to aerate. Put the siphon in a bain marie, making sure it is not boiling, and leave it over medium heat for approximately 15-20 minutes, shaking the canister occasionally. Set aside and keep warm.

For Meyer Lemon Granita:
Add saffron to the Meyer lemon juice and allow it to infuse for 30 minutes.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil, and then allow it cool, making simple syrup. Add small amounts of the simple syrup to the saffron-infused lemon juice to a desired balance of sweet and tart. Add a pinch of salt. Place mixture in a shallow pan and place it in the freezer. Scrape with a fork every hour until you have a finely shaved ice texture. Keep the granita frozen.

For Shiso Ice Cream:
Bring the milk, cream, milk powder, and sugar to a boil. Cool the mixture in a water bath and then place it in a PacoJet canister. Add the shiso leaves and freeze for 24 hours.
Process mixture in the PacoJet and return it to the freezer.

* The green color of the shiso leaves will be more vibrant after the second PacoJet process.

For Nougatine:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Melt the sugar in a pot. When it becomes a golden amber color, remove the pot from heat and add the cookie crumbs, stirring vigorously to combine; pour onto a Silpat or parchment paper. Allow the mixture to cool, then grind it in a food processor until it resembles fine sand. Sift the mixture over a Silpat in a fine layer and place it in the oven for approximately 7 minutes. Remove baking mat from the oven, allow the sugar to cool, and then break it into large shards. Store the nougatine in an airtight container.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place a large spoonful of granita in each serving bowl. Place a scoop of shiso ice cream on top of the granita, off to one side. Fill warm smoked mousse in the other side of the bowl. Garnish with freshly cut shiso leaves and a shard of nougatine. Serve immediately.

   Published: January 2006