Darren Purchese’s Baked Dark Chocolate Mousse

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This combination is a little fancy and a bit unusual but it all works really well together.

This could be served after a main course prior to a sweeter dessert and, with the strong flavours, a little bit goes a long way.


Ingredients
• 180g dark chocolate
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 eggs
• 30g caster sugar
• 100ml thickened cream, whipped
Dutch cocoa powder, for dusting

To serve:
• small wedges or thin slices of ripe pear
• 100g roquefort or gorgonzola cheese
• fresh muscatel grapes

Method
1 To make the jelly, place the sherry in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook to flame off the alcohol.
2 Remove the pan from the heat, add the sugar syrup and whisk in the agar agar. Return to the heat and bring to the boil.
3 Remove from the heat and stir in the soaked gelatine. Strain the jelly into a small jug through a small tea strainer.
4 Pour the jelly into a 30 x 20 cm shallow, lightly greased nonstick baking tray and leave to set at room temperature for 5 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator and leaving it to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5 Turn the jelly out of the tray onto a chopping board and cut with a sharp knife into strips approximately 8 x 1 cm.
6 For the mousse, preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a 20 cm square, non-stick baking tray with a lip with baking paper (allowing some overhang) and lightly spray the paper with canola oil.
7 Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
8 Whisk the egg yolks, eggs and sugar together using an electric mixer or by hand until thick and pale.
9 Gently fold half of this mixture into the chocolate, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
10 Fold in the whipped cream.
11 Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray. Cover the tray with foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
12 Remove from the oven and allow the baked chocolate to cool down entirely before chilling in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
13 Use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the baked mousse from the tray and use the excess paper flaps to lift the baked chocolate mousse out of the tin and place it on a chopping board.
14 Cut into 8 x 2 cm pieces, or similar, and place on a plate.
15 To serve, place a piece of the baked dark chocolate mousse on each plate and leave it for 20 minutes to come to room temperature.
16 Arrange pieces of the jelly on the plates as well as the wedges or slices of pear.
17 Crumble the blue cheese over the dish and serve with the fresh muscatel grapes.

Recipe courtesy of Darren Purchese, extracted from Lamingtons & Lemon Tart

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