CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH PEPPERMINT PRALINE
500g dark chocolate buttons 4 eggs 1 cup caster sugar 100ml pure cream 400ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks extra pure cream, to serve almond bread, to serve
2 cups pure icing sugar ½ teaspoon peppermint essence green food colouring (optional)
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t touch water). Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk eggs and caster sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t touch water) and whisk just until mixture is warm. Remove bowl from heat. Working quickly, gradually add melted chocolate to egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Gradually add pure cream, whisking constantly until mixture resembles a very thick sauce. Cool to room temperature. Divide whipped cream into 2 equal portions. Add a large spoonful of cooled chocolate mixture to 1 portion. Gently stir to combine. Add to remaining chocolate mixture. Gently stir to combine. Fold remaining portion of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Meanwhile, to make peppermint praline, line a baking tray with baking paper. Place icing sugar in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat until it begins to dissolve and brown around edge of pan. Using a spoon, gradually incorporate emerging caramel into remaining icing sugar until a light-brown caramel forms. Cool for 5 minutes. Add peppermint essence. Tint with colouring. Stir until well combined. (Take care as caramel might spit.) Pour onto lined tray. Cool completely. Break praline into small pieces. Place in a sealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to pound to a fine powder. Using a hot serving spoon, scoop out quenelles of chocolate mousse and place on serving plates. Serve with extra pure cream and almond bread. Sprinkle with praline.