(click on "Chocolate Sphere" to see the video)
The food at La Forchetta in San Jose del Cabo on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is so good that we ate there three times during our week-long vacation. The risotto was superb, the pasta perfectly cooked, and the pizza flawless. But in the end, the restaurant’s signature dessert-the Chocolate Sphere- stole the show.
Given how much I love chocolate, I listened intently as owner Pablo Portilla described the dessert. The beginning is simple enough: a scoop of vanilla ice cream partnered with crumbled brownies, and a generous handful of walnuts.
Now comes the hard part…
The ice cream, brownies and walnuts are served under a dome made with top-quality chocolate. To make the dome, the chef dips an inflated balloon in melted, semi-sweet dark chocolate. When the layers of chocolate are sufficiently thick, the still inflated balloon, complete with its chocolate “cap,” is stored in the freezer. The balloon is deflated and removed when the chocolate is hard enough to keep its shape.
Now comes the drama…
The dessert, complete with the dome, is served in a shallow bowl. An interesting presentation, even if you stopped there. But that isn’t what happens. Instead, the server slowly pours warm chocolate sauce over the dome, which gradually collapses. Envision using a chocolate-dipped cone from Dairy Queen as the centerpiece of a hot fudge sundae, and you’re on the right track.
Much as I love warm center chocolate cakes-with or without ice cream- the Chocolate Sphere kicks the chocolate experience up another notch. The dessert is sharable, and I admit I’d be hard pressed to finish it myself, although giving it a try would be fun.
La Forchetta, Plaza El Pescador, Paseo Malecon de San Jose, San Jose del Cabo BCS, CP 23400, 52 (624) 130 77 23
Note: Should you be motivated to try this at home, check out the segment on “Balloon Molds” in Elaine Gonzalez’ book “The Art of Chocolate” (Chronicle Books, $22.95).
Filed under: Great Dishes