- 1 cup sugar
- Fresh lemon juice
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pints fresh red raspberries
make the golden spider webs: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the sugar and the lemon juice in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir with a whisk to combine; the sugar will resemble moist sand. Caramelize the sugar for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes over moderately-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps. The sugar will become clear as it liquefies, then it will brown as it caramelizes. Remove from the heat. Let the caramelized sugar stand at room temperature for about 1 minute. Using 3 to 4 spoonfuls for each spider web, dip an oval soup spoon into the caramelized sugar and drizzle the caramel in a thin stream onto the prepared baking sheets to create 6 free-form, 4-inch, spider web-like designs on each sheet. Let the spider webs harden to room temperature. Store the Golden Spider Webs, separated by wax paper, in a tightly sealed plastic container.
2. make the wicked ganache: Put the semisweet chocolate in a 4-quart bowl. Combine the heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, butter and black pepper in a 3-quart saucepan and set over moderately-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then bring to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Chill the ganache in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, until firm but not hard.
If the ganache becomes too firm to pipe, set it aside at room temperature until pipeable.
3. make the raspberry rapture: Put the raspberries in a 4-quart stainless steel bowl. Use a slotted spoon to crush the berries into a rough-textured sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
4. assemble the spider's lairs: Spoon the Wicked Ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe a circle, approximately 3-inches in diameter and 1-inch high, onto the center of each of 6 large dessert plates. Fill each circle with 1 heaping tablespoon of the Raspberry Rapture. Position a Golden Spider Web over each circle of ganache. Pipe a second ganache circle, similar to the first, onto each Spider Web. Fill each ganache circle with 1 tablespoon of the raspberries and top with another Golden Spider Web. Equally divide the remaining raspberries in an enticing fashion around each spider's lair. Serve immediately