Some people spend hours browsing through cars, shoes, IT catalogues, may be not all at once. As far as I am concerned, I could spend days gazing at pictures of chocolaty creations wondering if I could work my way through them all. There is no better way to know than to try.
I made a start with Chef Nathan Outlaw's creation from Great British chefs. This puddings which marries Orange and Chocolate in a mousse. Mousse au Chocolat is a French classic which owes its lightness to the air trapped in the fluffy whisked egg whites but not in this case which was intriguing.
Nathan Outlaw works his chocolate (cocoa powder and 70% bitter chocolate) with cream, egg yolks, milk. The binding is generated by gelatine. Not used to work with this product, a bit of research was necessary. Gelatine comes in two forms: powder and leaf, in this recipe the latter is used.
Step one work with gelatine leaves
Soak first in cold water for 5 minutes, the time is on the packet in the instructions. Then squeeze out the excess water and place the leaves in a saucepan over gentle heat and melt or alternatively if you work with other hot ingredient place the squeezed ball directly in and it will melt of its own accord.
Step 2. Mix the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl
Step 3. Bring 300ml of the double cream together with the milk and orange zest to the boil. Pour the mixture onto the egg yolks and sugar then return to the pan and cook over a low heat until the mix thickens a little.
Step 4. Remove from the heat. Finely chop the chocolate and stir in, along with the gelatine and cocoa. Place the pan over a bowl of ice to cool. Meanwhile, semi-whip the remaining 160ml of double cream
Step 5. When the chocolate custard mix is at room temperature, fold in the cream until fully incorporated.
Step 6. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge for 2 hours before serving
Making crème anglaise or custard
When stirring the mixture on the heat be sure to use a flat edged spoon, moving it continuously along the base of the pan so the mixture does not catch.
Intensifying the orange flavour
Get hold of a microplane - a great tool for removing the maximum amount of zest without the bitter pith.
Leave the cream, milk, and orange zest to infuse for an hour before re-heating to pour over the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
Mixing 2 kinds of chocolate make this dessert much lighter than its French counterpart. it's quick and easy to make, the orange flavour comes through and that's a really nice addition. Working with gelatine leaves is much easier than it looks and here it gives much more "form" to the mousse. A perfect mousse to serve at the end of dinner in coffee cups.