Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Chilli Mousse Cake For Valentine's Day

From The Irish Times Saturday, February 11, 2012

EUNICE POWER has a recipe for a show-stopping chocolate chilli mousse cake to sets hearts racing

FORGET ABOUT INDULGING in all the of consumerism that surrounds Valentines day; for me it's all about chocolate and sharing it with the one I love.

Over the years I have experimented - chocolate fondues were big in the noughties - all pretty chaste stuff. I have since upped my game, along with my cocoa content. No more milk chocolate. The chocolate I use now has a cocoa content that starts at 70 per cent and can soar as high as 85 per cent on occasion.

This recipe is for an X-rated chocolate and chilli mousse cake, which is definitely an over-18s treat. If the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate and chilli are to be believed, then this should be a chocolate fix for the love of your life.

This is a cake of two parts. The first is a soft chocolaty base and the second a luxurious mousse. And the good news is that it's quite easy.

For the base
  • 300g chocolate, 70% cocoa content, broken into pieces
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 165g butter
  • 5 large eggs.
  • Pinch of salt
For the mousse
  • 250g chocolate, 70% cocoa, broken into pieces
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 5 large eggs separated
  • 150ml cream
  • Pinch of chilli powder, to taste
  • Cocoa powder for dusting and whipped cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 170degrees/gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 23-centimetre springform tin with parchment paper. I usually grease my tin, then line it with paper; this helps the paper to stick to the sides, hence making the tin easier to line.

To make the base, melt the chocolate, sugar and butter together in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Take the melted chocolate mixture off the heat and whisk in the eggs until well combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin until completely cold - an hour or two.

To make the mousse, firstly organise yourself by carefully separating five eggs. Whisk the cream until it just holds its shape. Melt the chocolate; chilli and icing sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then remove from the heat. At this point check for flavour - add more chilli if you feel it needs it.

Beat the egg yolks into the melted chocolate and allow to cool a little; the mixture will become quite stiff (this perfectly normal). Whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl until stiff peaks start to form, the tips of which should just flop over gently when the whisk is lifted. Avoid over-whisking - it will be difficult to amalgamate the egg whites into the chocolate if the egg white is over whipped and dry.

Using a metal spoon, gently fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture, and then fold in the egg whites. Do not over-mix, but ensure the mixture is well blended with no streaks of either egg whites or cream.

Pour the mousse onto the chocolate base in the tin and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, remove the tin from the fridge, dip a palette knife into boiling water and carefully run the knife around the outside of the tin to loosen the cake, then carefully unmold the cake from the tin, sliding it on to a serving plate. Dust generously with cocoa powder. Dip a sharp knife in boiling water, dry it and then slice the cake. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and decorate with rose petals.

With your first bite, lean back and close your eyes to fully enjoy one of life's natural pleasures - chocolate and chilli bliss.

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