Desserts served in glasses (or any other vessels) are stress-free for entertaining hosts. All you have to do on the day you are having guests over is to transfer these glasses from the fridge onto the table. It is very nice not to slice or plate anything for a change, just try to relax and enjoy the company.
The toasts themselves, I suspect, originated from Australia (correct me, if I’m wrong). I saw similar cookies in Australian cooking books and magazines. The cookies are thinner and even leaner relatives of Italian biscotti; basically fat-free besides the fat contained in the nuts. If you are uncertain about using apricot kernels due to safety issues, substitute for whole almonds instead.
For the mango gelée:
- 1 cup fresh mango puree
- 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 gelatin leaves
For the honey mousse:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 cardamom pods, bruised
- Zest of ½ orange, removed in wide strip, using a vegetable peeler
- Zest of ½ lemon, removed in wide strip, using a vegetable peeler
- 2 gelatin leaves
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ cup sour cream, cold
For the pistachio apricot kernel cookies:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour + ½ tsp for coating chopped apricots
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup fine granulated sugar
- Zest of ½ orange, finely grated
- Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- ½ cup apricot kernels (or substitute for whole almonds)
- ½ cup finely chopped dry apricots
Make the mango gelée:
In a small saucepan combine the mango puree, sugar, and lemon juice. Place the pan over medium-low heat and, stirring often, heat until the sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, place the gelatin leaves in a bowl with cold water and let them sit there for about 4 minutes. Then drain the leaves and put them into the saucepan with hot mango puree. Whisk to fully dissolve the gelatin. Divide between the serving glasses. Cool. When completely cool, place into the fridge to set, for at least an hour.
Make the honey mousse:
In a small saucepan, combine the whipping cream, cardamom pods, and citrus zest. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and refrigerate until very cold and suitable for whipping.
Place the gelatin leaves in a bowl with cold water and let them sit there for about 4 minutes to soften.
Bring 1 inch of water to a light simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the burner off (if your stove is electric, remove the skillet from the burner). In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, honey, and salt. Set the bowl with the egg yolk-honey mixture in the hot water. Whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 160F. You might need to turn the heat on again to the lowest setting to keep the temperature rising. Once the required temperature has reached, remove the bowl from the hot water, drain the gelatin leaves and put them into the bowl with the hot egg yolk-honey mixture. Whisk to fully dissolve the gelatin. Cool the mixture to 85F, stirring often.
Meanwhile, whip the chilled cream and cold sour cream until medium peaks form. Fold about a quarter of the whipped cream into the honey-yolk mixture, and then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Immediately, pour the mousse over the set mango gelée, dividing it equally between the glasses. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap without touching a surface of the mousse. Serve chilled with the Pistachio Apricot Kernel cookies or any other crisp treat.
Make the pistachio apricot kernel cookies:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the parchment. Set aside.
Sift together the flour and cardamom. Set aside.
Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large grease-free bowl. Whip on medium speed until frothy, add the salt. Increase the speed to medium-high. Very gradually adding the sugar, continue beating the whites until glossy firm peaks form.
Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in the sifted flour mixture, in three additions. Fold in the zest, nuts, and chopped apricots (before folding the apricots, combine them with ½ tsp of flour; using your fingertips separate pieces one from another). Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the cake is light golden brown and a cake tester, inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Unmold, cool completely on the rack. Wrap well in plastic and freeze for several hours or overnight until firm. It will make further slicing neat and easy.
Preheat the oven to 200F. Slice the frozen loaf very thinly, about 1/8-inch thick. Place the slices onto a large baking sheet and bake until dry but not browned, flipping the slices over through half of the baking time, about 40 min-1 hr total. Then you can turn the oven off, open the door ajar and let the slices cool in the oven. The cookies can be made well in advance and kept in an air-tight container. If they lose their crispness, simply return them into the low-heat oven to dry out.