This is a wonderfully decadent recipe for a lovely low sugar, fluffy chocolate mousse, with a cardamom and coffee mascarpone icing and toasted pistachios to finish.
I like to make this dessert in a small square cake tin lined with cling film. I slice it up and decorate it with the icing once set. My tip would be to keep the tin on the small side as you want the dessert to have some height.
Some folk prefer not to eat raw eggs, you can still make this recipe but omit the egg yolks and use pasteurised egg whites instead of fresh ones – Two Chicks do a good one.
You can also decide to omit the gelatine, just follow the recipe in the same manner but skip the gelatine step and serve in glasses or ramekins.
The flavours in this dessert directly compliment the beautiful tasting notes of Yunnan tea, so try it together for the full experience.
To make this wonderful chocolate mousse (which is practically a health food!) you will need:
200g At least 70% Dark chocolate
5 Eggs, separated
3 Sheets of Sheet Gelatine
100ml Double Cream
20g Stevia based natural sweetener – (I used Truvia, it’s 2/3 sweeter gram for gram than ordinary caster sugar but with none of the actual sugar (or calories!). It is a natural sweetener, made from the leaf of the Stevia plant, it adds sweetness with none of the nasties of traditional sweeteners.)
For the coffee mascarpone and cardamom icing:
2 Tablespoons Instant Coffee
5 Cardamom Pods
25g Sukrin Stevia Icing sugar
25g Icing sugar
60g Shelled Pistachio Nuts, toasted and crushed
1. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
2. Chop the chocolate into about 1cm pieces and place in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water – ensuring the water isn’t in contact with the bowl. Stir occasionally and when almost melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Stir again and set to one side.
3. Whisk the egg whites to a soft peak stage.
4. Heat the double cream over a gentle heat, squeeze the excess water from the now flabby gelatine leaves and add to the warm cream with the stevia. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
5. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and add the cooled cream and melted chocolate (Make sure nothing is really cold, as the chocolate will seize, lukewarm is perfect.)
6. Dollop about a third of the whisked egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix by hand until thoroughly combined, then very gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, making sure not to knock any of those precious bubbles out.
7. Pour/dollop into ramekins if you like, or even a cake tin. (I like to use a square cake tin lined with cling film.) Smooth the top cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably over-night.
8. Make the coffee and cardamom mascarpone next. Combine the coffee with a tablespoon of just boiled water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
9. Grind up the seeds from within the cardamom pods to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar, add to the coffee whilst cooling. (The heat of the coffee will help release some of the flavourful oils within the seeds.)
10. Place the fridge-cold mascarpone into a bowl and add the sieved Sukrin icing sugar and the sieved normal icing sugar, the coffee and cardamom and whisk until it forms stiff peaks.
11. Place in a piping bag with a little star nozzle. Refrigerate until time to use.
12. Once the mousse has set, remove from tin by placing a board over the top and turning it over. If it is in a ramekin – you could help it out by dipping the outside into a bowl of warm water for a few seconds before turning out.
13. If you have prepared the mousse in a tin, you can slice it cleanly by placing a long knife into a tall cup of hot water to heat the blade first before slicing. Slice into 6 rectangles and decorate by carefully piping the coffee mascarpone on top. Finally sprinkle with the crushed toasted pistachio nuts and serve with a delicious cup of Wild Black Yunnan Tea. (Available at www.vractea.co.uk)