White Chocolate Coffee Mousse

9 ounces white chocolate
1/4 cup strong coffee
2 teaspoons instant espresso or coffee powder
1 1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream

To make the mousse:
Melt the white chocolate, coffee, and espresso powder together in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk until smooth. Cool the white chocolate, stirring occasionally, to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the white chocolate into the cream. Divide the coffee cream between the prepared tomato paste cans. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Chocolate Glaze

3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
4 teaspoons corn syrup
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

To make the glaze:
Warm the cream, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles around the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let sit 15 seconds and whisk until smooth. Cool until the glaze has thickened slightly but is still pourable, about 15 minutes.

While the glaze is cooling, place a chocolate cake circle gently but firmly in each can on top of the mousse. Remove the mousses from the cans, and place them, cake side down, onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper. Place the rack on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper to catch any extra glaze. Carefully pour the glaze over the top of each of the mousses, letting it run down the sides, completely covering them. Refrigerate the towers until firm, at least 1 hour.

Coffee Chocolate Towers

From A Passion for Ice Cream (Chronicle Books 2007)

Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cake:
Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking oil spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, about 1 minute with a stand mixer or 2 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla. On low speed, add one-third of the cocoa and flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix well. Repeat, alternating the dry and wet mixtures, combining each set of ingredients before adding the next. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan to room temperature.

Unmold the cake by running a knife around the inside edge of the cake pan and inverting it onto a countertop. Peel off the parchment paper. Using a clean tomato paste can or 2 inch stainless steel ring molds, cut out 6 circles of cake.
Line the insides of six tomato paste cans with pieces of parchment paper 7 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches long. Place the cans on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

To serve the towers:
Using a large metal spatula, place the towers on individual dessert plates. Spoon some crème anglaîse around them and arrange the macadamia nuts on the tops.