Plated desserts

Chocolate Terrarium

An original recipe by Robert Toland at the Terrain Garden Café.

5 steps

Recipe Step by Step


Chocolate Cake

550g all-purpose flour
22g baking soda
7g kosher salt
450g brewed coffee
671g sugar
171g whole eggs
33g liquid eggs yolks
332g sunflower oil
473g whole buttermilk

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together; set aside.

Whisk coffee and cocoa powder together until thoroughly combined; set aside.

Whisk sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in an electric mixer until light and frothy. Slowly stream in oil. Add coffee mixture. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with the buttermilk in two additions.

Pour about 1000g of batter on to a half-sized sheet tray and bake at 325˚F until fully baked.


Milk Chocolate Namelaka

1250g Heavy Cream 36%
10g gelatin sheets (silver)
475g MILK JIVARA 40% 

In a large pot, bring the heavy cream to a boil. While the cream is heating up, bloom the gelatin in ice water. When the cream has reached a full boil, remove it from the heat and pour directly over the milk chocolate. Add the bloomed gelatin. Blend the chocolate mixture with an immersion blender until completely emulsified.

Portion into Weck jars or cool for later use.


Chocolate Rock Coating

200g WHITE WAINA 35%
AN Assorted food coloring

Gently melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Once the chocolate has melted, add the cocoa butter, followed by the food coloring. Blend until fully incorporated with a stick blender.

Allow the mixture to cool to 85˚F (29˚C) before pouring over the frozen chocolate mousse.


Dark Chocolate Mousse

900g Heavy Cream 36%
6ea large eggs separated
150g sugar granulated separated in half

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler; reserve warm.

Whip the cream to medium peaks; set aside.

Whip whites with half of the sugar to medium peaks. Whip egg yolks with the other half of the sugar until full sabayon is reached. Working quickly, fold egg yolks into chocolate, then meringue, then cream. Place into pastry bags and fill desired molds. Refrigerate the remaining mousse for later use.


Matcha Crunch

1000g paillete feuilletine
1000g WHITE WAINA 35%
7g Maldon sea salt
30g green tea matcha powder

Gently melt the white chocolate over a double. Remove from heat and add cocoa butter, stir until all of the cocoa butter has melted. Whisk in ¼ of the matcha powder. Pour feuilletine on top and stir until the feuilletine is completely coated. Spread the mixture evenly on a full-size sheet tray and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Once the mixture has partially set, toss again in a bowl to break up into little pieces. Add the Maldon, cacao nibs and the remaining matcha powder and continue to mix. Add more matcha if necessary. Place on a sheet tray again and refrigerate for another 3 minutes. Store in a plastic container at room temperature.

Assembly and finishing

1. Once the namelaka is fully set, place one enrobed mousse “rock” inside the terrarium, just off center2. Take a 3”x3” square of chocolate cake and break it into irregular pieces. Place these pieces of cake around the mousse rock. 3. Avoiding the mousse rock, place matcha crunch on top of the chocolate cake, allowing some pieces of the chocolate cake to poke through. 4. Garnish with a sunflower shoot or nasturtium leaves