Fancy Pants

So we've had week IV: deserts. A category with a lot of scope but unfortunately not many what I would call 'easy options' so I've had to pull out the stops and swiftly exit my comfort zone. I present to you dark and milk chocolate mousse with a salted caramel sauce and white chocolate garnishes. I know, I went all out for you.

sneaky piccie of Eve on the right - she is, after all, the baking maestro
behind all of this

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Mousse with Garnishes

Salted Caramel Sauce
100g granulated sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
30g unsalted butter
80ml double cream
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mousse
330g dark/milk chocolate
30g unsalted butter
8 eggs
1 tbsp caster sugar

Chocolate Garnishes
100-200g white chocolate
(piping bag required)






To make the caramel sauce I put the sugar, golden syrup and 2 tablespoons of water into a saucepan and brought it to boil, stirring it well. When it became a rich amber colour I removed it from the heat and stirred in the butter, cream and salt. Do not be afraid to stir this mixture well; I had some granulated sugar left and this sunk to the bottom of my mousses (are we sure that's the plural of mousse..?!) and formed an unwanted super-sweet crispy bottom. I have a major sweet tooth so I didn't mind it too much but it wasn't exactly the taste and texture I was going for.

Pour this mixture into a bowl and set aside allowing it to cool completely.

Next separate the yolks and whites of the 8 eggs. Yes, I said 8. You know you're working with a serious recipe when it involves those kind of quantities. I don't think I've ever used more than 4 eggs before, and that was for a fry up. It made me feel like an experienced, serious sort of baker just taking them out and placing them on the counter. Those of you who are looking closely may notice that there are only 7 eggs in the piccie opposite (you sharp-eyed lot, you). This is because I am a perfectionist and this looked pretty and the 8th egg would have totally messed up my beautiful flower design. Doubt not my fellow foodies; I really did use 8 eggs and you should too.





Place your chocolate and butter in a bowl and position above a pan of simmering water (no, wingardium leviosa is not necessary; put the bowl in the pan but make sure it's made of a relatively thick plastic and the bottom is not touching the water... I've had issues with melting plastic before!). Set the bowl aside when the chocolate and butter has melted and whisk the egg yolks into the cooling mixture. Eve did this bit as I often end up engaged in squabbles with whisks about whether the mixture is supposed to go in the bowl or on me... the whisk normally wins.




Separately whisk the egg whites to form a light foam. Add the caster sugar and whisk until soft peaks form (complicated stuff, huh?). Fold them gently into the chocolate mixture bit by bit (the recipe I was following said 1/3 at a time but I'm crap at maths so I estimated) until they have thoroughly merged with the mixture.






Pour the now cooled caramel sauce into the bottom of each glass (try to maintain an even amount throughout), and add the mousse on top. This should create a lovely two-layered effect which looks pretty impressive! Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.





I then made the chocolate garnishes. For these line a tray with baking paper and melt the chocolate in the same way as with the mousse. Then scoop it into a piping bag and scribble away! When you're done, pop them into the fridge for a few hours. When they have thoroughly cooled you can place them gently into your mousses for a fancy looking finish, like this:


Just to give you an idea of quantities, this recipe filled 7 of these bowls. They are about 5 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep.

I recommend this recipe to anyone wanting to try something a little more exciting. I haven't branched out much with my baking before, but if I could master this and make it look pretty neat I'm sure you can too! It's also such a yummy desert and the caramel sauce was simply divine!

There is one left in the fridge for whoever calls dibs...

See you next week for pies and tarts; it's gonna be fruity!

This recipe was found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/salted_caramel_and_18373