There are desserts that are complicated; you know, the kind that take a lot of forward planning and preparation, as well as making you wonder whether or not whoever you are cooking for will like them. Forget about them, life is too short. There are loads that I turn to time and time again that take minimum effort and never fail to satisfy. I'm going to start listing them on here over the year, starting today.
This weekend, I host the one and only Petra of Choc Star fame. She finally reaches the frozen north east at the end of the week as she is working at the Eat Festival in Newcastle and Gateshead. With Petra being the Queen of Chocolate, I'm leaving the desserts to her. But one chocolate based dessert that fits the category of easy, quick and moreish is the chocolate mousse. I'm sure Petra would agree.
The best thing about a mousse is that if you are cooking for loads of people, you can make lots, tip it into some nice glasses and after a few hours chilling, you will be guaranteed a whole load of 'oohs' and 'aahs' from your mates. Great! This one is a bit of an adult mousse, one that I had to hide from my daughter (sorry Cerys). With a punch of whisky, not too much sweetness and a crunch of roast hazelnut, it just takes that already impressive blend of airy chocolate and cream into another dimension. An absolute doddle of a dessert, give it a go choc lovers.
Chocolate, Whisky and Hazelnut Mousse
300ml double cream
200g 70% proof chocolate
50g soft brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 tbsp whisky
2 handfuls of hazelnuts, toasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped
1 - Heat up the double cream in a thick bottomed pan along with 1 handful of the hazelnuts. Break up the chocolate and add to the cream along with the sugar. Stir until completely dissolved then pour through a sieve into a separate bowl.
2 - Allow to cool slightly. Stir in the whisky and egg yolks thoroughly.
3 - Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Beat in roughly one third of the egg whites, and then gently fold in the remaining.
4 - Tip into your glass of choice. Cover with foil or shrink-wrap and allow to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. They will keep for a couple of days.
5 - When ready to serve, sprinkle with a few of the chopped roasted hazelnuts.