Friday, 29 March 2013

Caramel Chocolate Mousse

It's Easter and apart from the baking of hot cross buns and simnel cake, the other edible treat we associate with this Christian festival is chocolate of course. The idea for this mousse began a few days ago when I was trying to work out in my head whether or not it would work. This morning the thought of being able to have something chocolatey to enjoy forced the issue and I made it. I have to say, the next time I make it I will be far more careful about how to add the melted chocolate so what follows is an improvement on what I actually did.

To make this mousse, enough for 6 to 8, you will need,
200g of dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids is what I use but then I like dark and intense chocolate.
3 medium eggs
190g of sugar
200ml of double cream
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Place 3 eggs in the bowl of a mixer along with 50g of sugar and the salt. Whisk until you have a light foam. Begin making the caramel; dissolve the remaining 140g of sugar in 100ml of water and slowly bring up to a boil. Keep cooking with a watchful eye, until the sugar begins to turn colour. At first a straw colour but then very rapidly a deeper brown. Turn the heat off and immediately add a further 50ml of water. There will be a great deal of spitting and bubbling up so do be careful to avoid getting any on your arms. Go back to the mixer and with the machine on full speed, gradually pour the caramel down the side of the bowl while the eggs are beating and creating more volume and taking on a slightly caramel colour. At this point I poured in the melted chocolate while the mixer was still beating and lost quite a lot of the volume, so instead I suggest;  Melt the chocolate in a microwave in 1 minute lots until it is fully melted, gradually and carefully fold the melted chocolate into the caramel egg mixture, being careful to avoid losing too much air. Finally whip the cream to a soft peak and fold in. You can at this stage fold in a little brandy or cointreau if you like. Pour into glasses and chill before serving. The job of dealing with the remains in the bowl is a bit of a trial but someone has to do it.

This cooked form of beaten eggs is in fact a form of sabayon and if the sugar syrup is taken up to only 150C rather than up to the caramel stage it can be used to make other mousses.
My tasting panel, (Sue & Dick) failed to finish theirs claiming it was a bit rich, so be warned. It's just possible this recipe would be best served in smaller containers for 8 to 12 people, as an intense chocolate hit.

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