Posts Tagged ‘mousse’

Chocolate mousse made with love

Sunday, July 6th, 2008


Sunday, July 06, 2008
By Kevin Thornton
The first time I saw and worked with a fresh cocoa bean, I was excited. The experience was even more special, as the beans I worked with were from the plantation that supplies the chocolate we use at Thornton’s.

I was thrilled to meet the person who grows the cocoa beans that I use. To me that’s what food is about – amazing people who take huge pride in what they do and pass enormous pleasure on to others.

Then it is up to the likes of me not to mess it up as I pass it on. When so many people go to great lengths to understand and respect their produce and have such pride in what they do, it gives me enormous pleasure to work with their produce.


This is a dish I developed as an ode to the beautiful cocoa bean. It is simple and can be prepared in the morning for a dinner party or for a garden lunch in this beautiful Irish weather. Ahem. The secret when working with chocolate is firstly to ensure the product is of good quality and secondly, not to overheat it.

Remember not to be too intense when you work, as I believe cooking is all about energy. Think about the produce – the person who planted the bean, the one who looked after it while it grew, the chocolate maker, the person who cooks the recipe. Remember that it goes through a lot before it reaches its final destination. Enjoy it, as chocolate is the way into everyone’s heart.

Opera Chocolate and Mango Mousse (serves 12)

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse

500g of 65 per cent chocolate
100g of 72 per cent grated chocolate
300ml of cream
4 medium-size free range eggs
80g of icing sugar
1 litre of lightly whipped cream
4 leaves of gelatine
1/2 glass of port

Mango mousse

150ml of mango puree
50ml of passion fruit puree
1 mango diced
1 leaf of gelatine

To garnish

5 raspberries each
100 ml of chocolate glaze (100g of 72 per cent chocolate, 5 drops of almond oil)

Method

Chocolate mousse

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl of warm water, covering the bowl with cling film so as not to allow any moisture in.

2. Boil 300ml of cream to make an anglaise. Mix the sugar and eggs together for a few seconds. When the cream comes to the boil, mix half into the egg mix and stir well. Pour the rest of the egg mix into the cream, return to the heat and cook for a few minutes or until you see the first bubble, stirring consistently. Make sure it does not boil.

3. Pour the mix into the chocolate. Melt the gelatine in the port liquid and pour into the mix. Cool the chocolate for a few minutes. Fold in the slightly whipped cream and, after 5 minutes, fold in the grated chocolate. This gives the mousse a crunch.

Mango mousse

1. Mix the mango and passion fruit puree together. Cut the fresh mango into small pieces, add the gelatine, the puree and dissolve over a low heat.

2. Pour the mango mix into 8cm moulds to about 1cm in height only. Allow to slightly set for a few minutes and then pour the chocolate into the top of the mould. Refrigerate for about five hours.

3. To finish, melt some chocolate. Mix with a little almond oil and pour over the top. This gives the finished product a beautiful shine.

To serve

Place a chocolate ring in the centre of each plate. Remove the ring and scatter plate with raspberries.

Kevin Thornton is a Michelin-starred chef and owner of Thornton’s Restaurant on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. www.thorntonsrestaurant.com

An unbeatable mass of mousse

Sunday, May 25th, 2008


Purists would say white chocolate can’t really be called ‘chocolate’, as it does not contain the essential cocoa solids. Instead, it is made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and lecithin.

Make sure when you’re buying white chocolate that it contains cocoa butter – some inferior brands use vegetable fat. Green & Blacks does an up-market white chocolate which can be found in food stores and most supermarkets. Or you could go all-out and source Valhrona’s wonderful Opera Chocolate.

Not only is its status as a chocolate under fire, but white chocolate is also difficult to work with. When melted, the cocoa butter in white chocolate can occasionally split, creating an oily compound that can be recovered by re-emulsifying.

To do this, melt a small amount of butter or chocolate and whisk back in the ‘oily’ compound.

As with other chocolate, the melted product rapidly turns lumpy and grainy when water is added. To save the mixture, just bring some cream to the boil and add the chocolate a little at a time.

This is a dessert I have being doing on and off in the restaurant for 20 years. What a scary thought!

When I first started doing it, two regular customers used to travel from outside Dublin to the restaurant just for the mousse. I hope you like it too.

White chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce


250ml cream
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
2 leaves of gelatin
675g white chocolate
1.25 litre of lightly whipped cream

For the sauce
Raspberry sauce
500g raspberries
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp of water
Extra raspberries and cocoa powder for serving

Sauce method
First, make the sauce by placing the raspberries into a pot, adding the sugar and water and keeping it on a low heat for a few minutes.

Remove the raspberries and place into a blender to puree. Then pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Mousse method
Cut the vanilla pod in half and remove the seeds, then place the pods and the cream in a stainless-steel pot. It is a good idea to place a film of cold water on the bottom of the pot before you add the cream, as this stops it from burning.

While you are bringing the cream to the boil, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds for one minute.

When the cream boils, add half of it to the eggs and sugar and mix, stirring constantly. Then add the remainder of the cream and return to the heat, mixing slowly with a wooden spoon. Cook on a low heat for about two minutes.

The chocolate should be cut into small pieces and added to the mixture, a little at a time. Stir until the chocolate has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and cool slightly.

Soak the gelatine in cold water. When it becomes limp, remove it and squeeze it to remove excessive water. Place the gelatine in a pot, along with a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture, and leave it on a low heat until the gelatine dissolves.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and add to the chocolate mixture. If you can’t get gelatine leaves, use 10g of dried gelatine, dissolved in a little warm cream and strained into the mix.

Cover the chocolate mix. Lightly whip the cream in a stainless steel bowl. Then fold the cream into the chocolate mix, a little at a time. Now divide the chocolate into moulds, or a bread tin lined with cling film. Cover and place in a freezer for about five hours.

To serve
Remove the mousse from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving. Place the mousse on the plate, add a little sauce, arrange the raspberries and sprinkle with cocoa powder.