Monday, 24 December 2012

Chocolate-chestnut mousse pots

Chestnuts are synonymous with Christmas in my family. I am already salivating at the thought of the chestnut stuffing my aunty makes every year to fill one end of the plump, golden turkey that adorns our dinner table on the big day. I think I could quite easily forgo the turkey for a big slab of this stuffing covered in lashings of gravy and adorned with all of the appropriate accompaniments. 

But anyway I think I am getting a little distracted! As well as the many savoury uses of chestnuts (including my gnocchi recipe) they are also great in sweet dishes and these little pots of baked chestnut and chocolate mousse are a great (and very easy to make) festive treat. They can also be made in advance and popped in the fridge until needed so won’t take up extra time during the busy Christmas entertainment period.

This recipe was only very slightly adapted from an original recipe at Canadian House and Home magazine to suit the quantities of ingredients I had so go check out the original too!


120g good quality dark chocolate
220g chestnut puree (can be bought ready-made or follow my instructions to make your own)
160ml whipping cream
4 eggs, separated
75g golden caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F

Place the chocolate, chestnut puree and whipping cream into a saucepan, place over a medium heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and the ingredients are well combined. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and place to one side.

In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar as you do until the mixture begins to stiffen and resemble soft peaks.

Beat the egg yolks together in a small bowl and then slowly add to the cooled chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Then add the Cointreau (or other liqueur of choice) to the chocolate mixture.

Finally gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Divide the mixture between 6 ramekins.

Take a deep roasting tin and place the ramekins into this then fill the roasting tin with boiled water so that the level of the water is half way up the sides of the ramekins before placing into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes until the top of each little mousse has risen up (but don’t worry if the mousse doesn't seem fully set, these taste really good of still a little gooey in the middle).

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before wrapping each pot in cling film and placing in the fridge for at least a couple of hours (overnight is best) before tucking in. And these pots will keep for a couple of days in the fridge if you want to make in advance.

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