July 7 is World Chocolate Day. In honor of the occasion, the head pastry chefs of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Hilton devised special desserts bursting with chocolatey goodness (and calories, too, but who’s counting?).

Before we get to the recipes, we should emphasize that although Israel isn’t a cacao-growing country, its chocolate industry is robust. Local chocolatiers win international awards and Israeli chocolate confections are in demand around the world. According to the Foreign Trade Administration, 28 Israeli companies exported $10 million worth of chocolate products to 42 countries in 2015.

Chew on that while you tempt your sweet tooth with these chocolate confections.

LOUIE’S MOUSSE by Claude Ben-Simon, Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

5 medium servings

Chef Claude Ben-Simon’s original Louie’s Mousse is served in the King’s Court Restaurant in Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem lobby. Photo: courtesy
Chef Claude Ben-Simon’s original Louie’s Mousse is served in the King’s Court Restaurant in Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem lobby. Photo: courtesy

Part 1: Milk Chocolate Chantilly Cream

1¼ cup (10 fl. oz.) heavy cream

1¼ cup (1/2 lb.) milk chocolate

Bring the cream to a boil and then add, in 3 parts, the boiling cream into the chocolate while stirring during every addition. Allow the cream to cool down for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. After it has cooled, place the cream in a pastry bag with a St. Honore nozzle.

Part 2: Vanilla Crumble

5½ oz. (11 Tbsp.) cold butter cut into cubes

2¾ oz. (6½ Tbsp.) sugar

1¼ Tbsp. salt

1¼ cups flour

2½ cups crumbled almonds

3 oz. light brown sugar

Mixt the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix gently until the dough becomes pea-size crumble. Pat the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and crispy. Set aside to cool.

Part 3: Exotic Coulis

3½ oz. (7 Tbsp.) banana puree

2¾ oz. mango puree

1½ oz. apricot puree

2¼ oz. passion fruit puree

1 stick of vanilla bean, scraped

¼ cup white sugar

In a medium pan, add the fruit purees. Scrape the vanilla pod into the pan, and mix with the sugar over a low flame.

While the pan is on a medium flame, bring the mixture to a boil for about 7 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from the flame and place in the refrigerator.

Assembly:

In a medium-sized cup, place a spoonful of exotic coulis. Over this place 2 spoonsful vanilla crumble.  Pipe the cream to the rim of the cup. Decorate with crushed nuts and serve.

Tel Aviv Hilton pastry chef Shlomit Abudi garnished her Chocolate Marquis with creampuffs. Photo: courtesy
Tel Aviv Hilton pastry chef Shlomit Abudi garnished her Chocolate Marquis with creampuffs. Photo: courtesy

CHOCOLATE MARQUIS by Shlomit Abudi of the Tel Aviv Hilton

12 portions

Ingredients:

18 grams gelatin

90 grams water

320 grams milk

680 grams bitter chocolate

4 egg yolks

100 grams sugar

Pinch of salt

Vanilla extract

320 grams whipped cream

80 grams powdered nougat

Preparation:

Whip the egg yolks and sugar into a stiff yellow foam.

Melt the chocolate and milk in a double boiler.

Dissolve the gelatin in a separate bowl.

Add the melted chocolate to the whipped egg yolks and then mix in the gelatin and whipped cream. Add the salt, vanilla and powdered nougat.

Pour into a cake pan and chill 4 hours before serving.

The finished Chocolate Marquis. Photo courtesy of the Tel Aviv Hilton
The finished Chocolate Marquis. Photo courtesy of the Tel Aviv Hilton

As a final touch, click on the video to get a taste of the chocolate culture in Tel Aviv.