Friday, 10 August 2012
Missing France! Chocolate Mousse with Orange Florentines
I actually made these before we went to France, because I was wanting to get in a vaguely French mood (like it needs so much effort, but anyway...) and unusually I actually didn't order a chocolate mousse for pudding whilst I was in France recently, as my head was turned by 'des glaces', however, a French trip in the past has not been complete without several chocolate mousses, so, here we are: chocolate mousse, with the (not necessarily so French) inclusion of some Ottolenghi orange florentines, which I figured might be a fitting accompaniment.
Because I had decided I wanted to make the florentines, the original recipe for the mousse (which is from 'French Brasserie Cookbook' by Daniel Galmiche) was for the mousse to have candied orange zest adorning the top, but I omitted this, mainly because it was a bit of a faff and I had other things to be doing, and also because I felt I had enough orangeyness going on. I instead elected to grate some dark chocolate over the top for that delightful dark chocolate hit before the mellowness of the mousse.
The recipe suggests that once chilled for the hour it recommends, if you keep them in longer you should take the mousses out of the fridge about half an hour before serving. If your kitchen is warm, like mine, and you have been cooking the main course, you might want to lessen the half hour that is recommended.
Also, I doubled the recipe because I was concerned the original might not be enough for everyone coming for dinner. The recipe below lists the original quantities, which I believe will feed four quite generously, and if you are having chocolate mousse, then generousness is pretty crucial if you ask me.
Anyway, served in double shot glasses, breaking off shards of florentine to scrape the edges of the glass to get the last of the chocolateyness of this dessert. I can think of worse things to undertake.
Bitter Chocolate Mousse adapted from 'French Brasserie Cookbook' by Daniel Galmiche, accompanied by Orange Florentines, taken from 'Ottolenghi: The Cookbook' by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
Serves Mum, Dad, Lola and Finn generously.
For the mousse:
3 1/2 oz plain chocolate (66 - 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
3 oz caster sugar
3 egg yolks
5 fl oz double cream
1tbsp icing sugar
For the florentines:
Makes about 20x8cm florentines or 12x11cm florentines
2 medium/large egg whites
100g icing sugar
260g sliced almonds
zest of 1 orange
sunflower oil for greasing the baking trays
To make the chocolate mousse, put 2 1/2 oz of the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place it to rest on a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water underneath.
Heat the chocolate and stir occasionally until it has melted, then remove from the heat and keep warm.
Very hard to capture a ribbon like trail!
In a separate heatproof bowl mix together the sugar, egg yolks and two tablespoons warm water. Rest the bowl over simmering water once more and beat until it turns pale, thickens perceptibly and trails ribbon like shapes when you lift the whisk or the beaters from the bowl. This could take 10 minutes or so.
Slowly stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.
I poured my mousse mixture into a jug because I was filling shot glasses with it. Quite tricky without a jug!
In another bowl (I used my mixer) whip the cream and icing sugar to soft peaks and gently fold it into the chocolate and egg mixture until it is smooth and combined. Don't overwork it.
Divide the mousse into four glasses (or whatever you intend to serve it from) and cover with cling film. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to set and it you are leaving it to chill for a longer time, then remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving (though read the note above)
Whilst the mousses are chilling, make the florentines.
Preheat oven to 150C (300F), brush a large tray (or two) with oil or use baking paper and still brush with oil. (Very important - they will stick without a decent coating of oil)
Mix the icing sugar, egg whites and orange zest until uniform, then fold in the almond to coat with the binding mixture.
Plop a large truffle-sized amount of mixture onto your oiled tray, and gently flatten with a fork, making the biscuit as thin as possible without creating too many large gaps. The biscuits should be about 8cm wide to make 20. This, however, is a fiddly, quite messy job and yours may look as 'home made' as mine.
Repeat until the tray is full – you don’t need to leave much space between each one as they don’t spread out much at all.
Bake until the biscuits are golden brown Check from 12 minutes but it could take longer depending on the size and the thickness your biscuits end up being.
Check under one biscuit to see if they’re golden underneath too. Put more mixture on another tray whilst the first batch are baking.
Cool before trying to remove from the tray. They may stick a little if you don’t use paper, but if you’re using a thin baking tray you can bend it slightly and this will help you get a spatula underneath without breaking them up too much.
Remove the mousses from the fridge. You could melt the remaining chocolate in a heatproof bowl over water and swirl it onto the top of the mousse, or else you could just grate it onto the top
and then eat any chocolate that is left. Your choice.
To serve, place a mousse on a side plate (if you like) and accompany it with one or two of the florentines.