A velvety, rich and, yes, quite boozy St Patrick’s day treat, these mini chocolate desserts are actually very easy to make. I have added quite a lot of Baileys – you can reduce the amount and increase the quantity of cream accordingly.
The praline is entirely optional but it adds a satisfying crunch to contrast with the smoothness of the chocolate. Just don’t add it until the last minute or the moisture in the mousse will cause it to melt!
Please note this recipe uses uncooked eggs. Use pasteurised eggs if you can get hold of them.
For the praline
100g | 1 cup skinned hazelnuts
100g | 1/2 (caster) sugar
1 tbsp water
For the chocolate fudge sauce
100ml | 3.5 fl oz double cream
80g | 2.8oz 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1-2 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the mousse
Makes 8-10 small servings
200g | 7 oz 60% dark chocolate
200ml | 6.7 fl oz double (heavy) cream
50ml | scant 1/4 cup Baileys (or other Irish Cream liqueur)
3 large eggs, separated
About 6 tbsp Crème fraîche or lightly whipped double cream to serve (optional)
To make the praline
- Line a tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C | 350F.
- Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes then either chop by hand or pulse in a food processor until they resemble large breadcrumbs.
- Put the sugar and water in a medium, heavy saucepan.
- Bring the sugar to the boil, swirling the pan until it turns a golden amber colour. Stir in the hazelnuts then pour the praline on to the prepared tray. Cover with baking paper and roll out as thinly as you can (take care, it will be hot).
- While the praline is still warm, cut half of it into thin strips and twist them into curls (or just break them into small pieces once cooled). Set aside.
- Once rest of the praline is set, roughly chop and pulse in a food processor until it ground to a fine powder. Set aside.
- Keep praline stored in an airtight container at room temperature. This recipe will make more than you need for the mousse.
To make the chocolate fudge sauce
- Finely chop the chocolate using a large knife and pressing down with the heel of your hand.
- Heat the cream until bubbles appear at the edge of the saucepan. Take off the heat.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.
- Add the corn syrup, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla and stir in.
- Heat the sauce over very gentle heat and then sieve into a small jug. You may need to reheat it if it sets – this can be done in the microwave in short bursts – take care it doesn’t boil.
To make the mousse
- Break the chocolate into small pieces then pulse in a food processor until it is coarsely ground.
- Heat the cream and Baileys until bubbles appear at the edge of the saucepan then pour into the food processor (through the feed tube) while mixing at medium speed.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, while mixing at medium speed. Empty the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg whites with a tiny pinch of salt until you have peaks – do not over whisk.
- Mix in a third of the whisked eggs into the chocolate to loosen it up. Fold the rest of the egg whites gently.
- Spoon the mousse into small bowls or cups and put in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. Take out of the fridge half an hour before serving.
- Serve the mousse with a dollop of crème fraîche, a swirl of fudge sauce and topped with the praline. The praline will soften once on top of the mousse so only add it when you are ready to serve.
|Irish cream chocolate mousse|