Sunday, September 6, 2009

'Hot' Chocolate Mousse with Pine Nut Praline

I've had to take a step back from the kitchen in the last few weeks. Work is very busy and rather draining, so the precious moments I have to myself have usually been spent being a couch potato (I am so lazy!!). The warmer weather has stopped me craving winter puddings and pies, and numerous eating out opportunities have meant that lots of sweets and baked yummies sitting around the house is not the best idea. But certain circumstances can arise where I'm willing to break this baking/desserts drought. The other day, Mr. Rabbit (of the free lemon fame) came up to my desk with a lovely little bag of red chillis from his chilli plant at home and I immediately started to ponder what I would use them for.

It would have been easy to throw them into whatever I cooked for dinner, I can put chilli in almost anything (I even put chilli flakes in my spag bol). This time I decided to try this great recipe that I saw in Gourmet Traveller. I know chilli chocolate is a bit of an overdone thing, but I think it's great fun in small doses. Obviously the original recipe uses a nut praline which I can't have, so I adapted it to use pine nuts instead, inspired by the lovely pine nut praline that Lili used in her secret dinner dessert.

I wasn't quite sure about replacing the chilli powder with fresh chilli, I dried it under the grill (and forgot about it so it went a bit black, oops), chopped it up very finely and ground it up a bit in my mortar and pestle. It seemed to work fine, the chillis were super spicy so the mousse had a fantastic kick to it.

Hot (chilli) Chocolate Mousse with Pine Nut Praline
(adapted from this Gourmet Traveller recipe)
For the mousse:
180g dark chocolate (54% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
3 eggs, at room temperature, separated
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp chilli powder
225 ml thickened cream, lightly whipped (I used light and it still worked very well)
For the praline:
100g pine nuts, toasted
150 g caster sugar

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, turn off heat and cool, add yolks and stir to combine, then add spices. Add cream and fold through to combine.

In a separate bowl, beat eggwhites until soft peaks form, then add to chocolate mixture and fold to combine. The mousse should be smooth and even in colour. Spoon into six ½ cup-capacity moulds and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

For the pine nut praline, place pine nuts on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Combine sugar and 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until light caramel, then pour over pine nuts and cool completely. Coarsely chop. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle praline over the top of your mousse.

I poured half the mixture into plastic cups and brought it (along with a zip lock bag full of praline) into work for Mr. Rabbit to try and take home. I think he was surprised and pleased to see what had happened to his chillis :)
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  1. This looks nice and yummy. I once baked a chili chocolate cookies, which were interesting and yummy also. :)

  2. I love the combination of chilli and chocolate. Well, I love chilli with pretty much anything, so it's hard not to love the sound of this.

  3. Oh my goodness! What a bold but exciting dish, Steph!

  4. I hear you re: things getting busy. But I am glad you could bring us this great combination. Love chilli and chocolate! :)

  5. Hehe we are so on the same wavelength! I did something with chocolate and chilis on the weekend too! I love the sound of it with the pine nut praline too :)

  6. For a minute I was wondering if you'd somehow managed to set a hot chocolate :) Sounds delicious and you really are on a cooking spree!

  7. Yum! This looks great. I can't wait for my chilli plant to grow so I can try it out! :)

  8. oh I love that Bar Lourinha recipe, I've prepared it so many times, its such an easy recipe....never fails. I love the pine nut praline, that would taste awesome...what a great idea!

  9. Great idea! Chili works wonderfully with chocolate, and I can think of a number of people I know who would love this dessert.

  10. The whole recipe sounds pretty delicious! Chilli & chocolate sounds decadent & warming - I find that now that we're in Spring, I'm holding on to winter comforts. Not quite ready for cold salads & ice cream desserts just yet.

  11. This sounds fantastic! Love the picture of all the ingredients swirling around :) The chilli & choc combination sounds delicious!

  12. When I saw the title, I thought you meant Hot (temperature) mousse, haha! Chilli is much better - and the nut praline, wow.
    By the way, I've tried to whip lite thickened cream before, and it doesn't, according to the jar. What brand of cream did you use?

  13. I'm a chilli weakling so the combination of chocolate & chilli does nothing for me! It looks so good though I might have to have a go but leave out the chilli!

    I like the idea of making it in plastic cups so you can bring it to work!

  14. I know what you mean! Getting wayy too hectic that I'm finding it hard to blog!! :( but you are still going strong ^^! and with awesome masterpieces each time mmmmm

  15. Ahh great idea roasting the chills! Looks great :)

  16. Chocolate chilli are lethal and wicked combo!! I have never tried this combo in mousse form. Very interesting.

  17. Anh - Ooh chilli chocolate cookies sounds great! I've also done chilli choc scrolls and chilli choc brownies :) I think the scrolls have been my fav so far!

    Conor - Haha I'm right with you on that one, chilli and anything is love!

    Trisha - Aww thanks! Just taking inspiration from around me though :)

    Julia - I can imagine must have been/are even busier than me! :) Thanks!

    Lorraine - Ooh I can't wait to see what you did! I'm obsessed with pine nuts at the moment :)

    Helen - Haha oops, yeah I was worried the title might be a bit misleading!

    Lisa - I wish I still had a chilli plant! My boyfriend killed it :(

    Maria - Isn't it great? It was so easy to do!

    Anita - Thanks! Chilli and chocolate always seems to get people excited hehe

    Forager - Same here, I keep getting the urge to bake chocolate puddings and have to keep telling myself winter is over :(

    Betty - Hehe thanks, I can never resist taking photos of stuff when I'm mixing it together!

    Belle - :S Whoops, yeah I couldn't resist the catchy name, even though I knew it might be misleading! It said that on my jar as well, but I did it anyway. You don't need to whip it too long, just enough to aerate it a bit. Obviously full fat whips much nicer and holds its shape better but I was trying to be a bit less naughty!

    Rilsta - Aww it's a pity you can't take much chilli, it's fantastic! Plastic cups are always handy :)

    FFichiban - I know right? Ughh if only we could not study/work and just eat and blog! Hehe thanks :)

    Yas - :D Thank you! I was nervous about roasting them but I thought they would be too moist and unconcentrated if I didn't!

    Ellie - :) Thank you! I like the combo but I don't like to use it too often

    Sophie - Thanks so much!


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