Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Mousse & Pistachio Biscuits

A classic Chocolate Mousse is a sweet treat which everyone enjoys and is so simple to whip-up the night before leaving you plenty of time to get on with other things. It's a treat which works well after a cosy romantic dinner for two, a small stress-free dinner gathering for friends or even an indulgent midweek comforting treat watching your favourite movie. This recipe calls for just three simple ingredients; cream, eggs and chocolate but it's good quality local free range eggs, good quality cream and quality chocolate such as Lindt which will give you a really good chocolate mousse. If you're really out to impress then you can make it even more delicious by dipping homemade shortbread biscuits into your chocolate mousse. I've included a very simple recipe for pistachio shortbread biscuits below too which keep well for up to a week in a Kilner jar. A classic recipe made up of chocolate, pistachios, sea salt and some freshly baked biscuits - now there's a taste sensation. 


Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Mousse:

- 125g Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate
- 125g Green & Black's Dark Chocolate
- 250ml Glenisk Organic Cream
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- 6 Free Range Local Eggs (separated)

For The Pistachio Shortbread:
(Makes 18)

- 150g Odlums Plain Flour
- 100g Kerrygold Irish Butter (Cubed)
- 50g Tate & Lyle Caster Sugar
- 75g Unshelled Pistachio Nuts (Roughly Chopped)
- Sprinkle Sea Salt to decorate

Chocolate Mousse:

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a fast boil before turning down to a simmer and place a Pyrex bowl over the water ensuring it is not touching the water. Melt the chocolate in the Pyrex bowl completely and when melted allow to cool slightly before whisking in the egg yolks one by one until it becomes quick thick.

2. Whip the cream until it is softly whipped before gently folding in the chocolate mixture. In a spotlessly clean bowl whisk your egg whites until they form silky smooth stiff peaks and you can place your bowl over your head without any of the mixture dropping out. The egg whites will give air and a light texture to the mousse so it is important to ensure you are gently folding in the egg whites otherwise you will loose the light, airy consistency (try to use a glass Pyrex bowl when folding in the egg whites so you can see the bottom of the mixture).

3. Pour the chocolate mousse mixture gently into six glasses and place in the fridge for a few hours or better still over night because the longer you leave the mousse in the fridge the thicker your mousse will be.

Pistachio Biscuits:

1. Sift the flour with the sugar into a large wide bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture comes together (alternatively, just place everything into a food processor and whizz). It will come together just give it time but don't be tempted to add water or egg because it's really not needed.

2. When the mixture comes together form into a disc shape, cover in a single layer of cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins to firm (or in a freezer for 10 minutes if you're in a hurry).

3. Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper before rolling the mixture in between two layers of cling film to a width of around half an inch.

4. Shape with a biscuit cutter, sprinkle pistachio nuts on top, a sprinkle of sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown in colour but keep a very close eye on them after eight minutes as they go from light to golden very quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray before moving to an airtight container until ready to serve.