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I have been experimenting with the chocolate crumb crust from Baking Bites, coming up with different ways to use it. I quite like doing that: it is useful to have a single recipe that you can then adapt/use in multiple different ways. The other day I started simple with an apple tart. Today I stepped up the unhealthiness levels and went for a milk chocolate mousse tart. This is unbelievably sweet and rich – definitely not for the faint hearted – but also quite wonderful. The chocolate experience is double: once in the brownie crust, and again in the sloppy mousse filling. It definitely received a flatmate thumbs up, with one declaring that we should have it every week. If feeling brave, serve this on its own. If cautious, serve it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or natural yoghurt.

Milk Chocolate Mousse Tart

For the crust:

1/2 cup butter, finely chopped

1 cup white flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

For the mousse:

4 eggs, separated

1/3 cup caster sugar

100g milk chocolate

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of water

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon powdered gelatin (optional)

First of all make the crust. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Combine all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor, and process until the mixture is in small sandy crumbs. Press into a greased tart tin, and bake until done (about 15-20 mins).

While the crust cools, make the mousse. Melt the chocolate over a pot of hot water until it is smooth and melted. Remove from the heat and beat the egg yolks into the mixture. Add the vanilla essence, water, and cocoa powder (sift in the cocoa to avoid lumps). Beat until smooth. Leave to cool.

In the meantime, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and are nice and stiff. This is of course easiest with an electric beater, but I did it by hand and it took only five minutes. Once you have reached the soft peak stage, add caster sugar in small amounts and beat to combine. Gently whip the chocolate mixture into the egg white. Dissolve the gelatin in the minimum amount of hot water needed, and mix into the mouse. I do eat gelatin, but lots of vegetarians don’t. If you don’t want to use gelatin, then leave it out, though the mixture will be a little sloppier.

Once the crust is cool, pour the mousse into the crust and chill in the fridge. The mousse will thicken a little, but not turn jelly-like – this will always be a fabulously sloppy and messy dessert. Decorate with whipped cream, dustings of sieved cocoa powder or icing sugar, curls of chocolate, or bits of orange rind.

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