Monday 5 February 2007

Recipe: Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse

For Four.
Ingredients: 100g dark chocolate (Felchlin, by preference); 3 Eggs; 5 fl oz Double Cream; 1 teaspoon Pistachio Paste; 1 tablespoon Cognac; 100g toasted chopped Hazelnuts.

1. Melt the Chocolate in a zimmertopf. While it melts, put the Pistachio Paste in a small bowl along with the Cognac, to dissolve, and separate the Egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Put the cream into a third bowl.

2. Stir the Paste and Cognac together to amalgamate. Beat the egg yolks for 2-3 minutes, then add the cognac mixture to this and beat again. Once the Chocolate has melted, let it rest for a minute in the zimmertopf, but with the heat turned off underneath, then stir it into the egg yolk mixture (NB. if you stir it in when it is still too hot it will become granular and gritty on the tongue).

3. Using an electric beater, whisk first the egg whites and then the cream until both are stiff. If you beat them in this order, then there is no need to clean the beaters between the two jobs; if you do it the other way round then the beaters will have to be thoroughly cleaned after you have beaten the cream, as the presence of cream on them will prevent the egg white from consolidating properly.

4. Add the egg yolk/Chocolate mixture to the beaten cream and lightly whisk it in.

5. Stir a quarter of the beaten egg white into the Cream/Chocolate mixture, and then fold in the rest. Add the chopped and toasted Hazelnuts at the same time as you add the beaten Egg White, and fold everything in together.

6. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least three hours. If you wish, divide the Mousse between four serving bowls before you refrigerate it.

Excellent served with fresh raspberries!

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