The secret to this dessert’s enduring popularity is its molten chocolate centre.
MAURO CALLEGARI, THE INDEPENDENT, GEMBROOK, VICTORIA “This dessert has been on the menu since we opened — it’s one of those dishes people keep coming back for.” CHOCOLATE TRIFLE Serves 4–6 ½ cup caster sugar 300g mixed berries ¾ cup roasted macadamias, crushed bought or homemade small meringues ¼ bunch mint, leaves picked, fifinely shredded 20g good-quality dark chocolate, fifinely grated CHOCOLATE MOUSSE 7 egg yolks ¾ cup caster sugar 220g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped 250g butttter, cut into 2cm cubes ½ cup cocoa 600ml thickened cream ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped Place sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Cool. Place berries in a bowl and pour over cooled sugar syrup. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight to macerate. Meanwhile, to make chocolate mousse, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and creamy. Set over a saucepan half-fifilled with simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t touch water). Add chocolate and whisk for 5–7 minutes or until chocolate melts. Add butter, 1 cube at a time, whisking constantly until butter melts and has been incorporated. Remove bowl from pan. Add cocoa and stir to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Whisk cream and vanilla seeds in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold a little whipped cream into chocolate mixture until combined. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Transfer to an airtight container and place in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to set. Spoon mousse onto plates. Arrange berries, macadamias and a little crumbled meringue over and around mousse. Top with whole meringues, mint and grated chocolate to serve.
STEVE CUMPER, FOOD WRITER “If there’s a stand-by dessert that’s as universally appealing as chocolate mousse, then I’m yet to hear of it.” CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH PEPPERMINT PRALINE Serves 6–8 (See photograph, page 72) 500g dark chocolate buttttons 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 PEPPERMINT PRALINE 2 cups pure icing sugar ½ teaspoon peppermint essence green food colouring (optional) Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan half-fifilled with simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t touch water). Stir with a metal spoon until melted. Cool for 10 minutes. Whisk eggs and caster sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Place over pan of simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t touch water) and whisk until mixture is warm. Remove bowl from heat. Working quickly, gradually whisk melted chocolate into egg mixture. Gradually add pure cream, whisking constantly until mixture resembles a 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 and gently stir to combine. Fold remaining whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Cover 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 pale caramel forms. Cool for 5 minutes. Add peppermint essence. Tint with food colouring and stir until well combined. Pour onto prepared tray. Set aside to cool completely. Break praline into pieces. Place in a sealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to pound to a fifine powder. Using a hot spoon, scoop out quenelles of chocolate mousse and place on plates. Serve with extra pure cream and almond bread. Sprinkle with praline. LEIGH MARINO, COURTHOUSE RESTAURANT AND GARDEN BAR, WARRAGUL, VICTORIA “These three things — chocolate brownie, poached rhubarb and caramel — are great on their own but together they’re simply amazing.” BROWNIES WITH POACHED RHUBARB & CARAMEL Serves 4 (See photograph, page 73) 300g dark chocolate, broken into pieces 80g unsalted butttter, chopped 1⅓ cups caster sugar ⅓ cup plain flflour ⅓ cup cocoa 1 teaspoon baking powder 4 eggs, whisked ½ cup sour cream 145g milk chocolate, roughly chopped icing sugar, to dust micro mint, to garnish* CARAMEL 2 cups milk 1 cup pure cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1½ cups caster sugar ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ¼ cup cornflflour POACHED RHUBARB 1 cup caster sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways 1 strip lemon peel, white pith removed 3 rhubarb stalks, cut into 4cm pieces Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line with baking paper. Place dark chocolate, butter and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan half-fifilled with simmering water (ensure bowl doesn’t touch water). Stir with a metal spoon until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat. Gradually stir in flflour, cocoa, baking powder, egg and sour cream until well combined. Stir through milk chocolate, then spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Meanwhile, to make caramel, place milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring just to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add sugar and bicarbonate of soda, and stir until mixture boils. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45–55 minutes or until mixture is a rich golden colour and reduced by one-third. Combine cornflflour and ¼ cup water in a jug. Gradually add cornflflour mixture to caramel, whisking until combined and thickened. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Cover surface of caramel with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. To make poached rhubarb, stir sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, lemon rind and 2 cups water in a saucepan over a medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Add rhubarb and cook for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Cut brownie into rectangles and place on plates. Add a spoonful of caramel and a few pieces of rhubarb. Dust with icing sugar and garnish with micro mint. * Available at some supermarkets and specialty greengrocers.
Soft-centred chocolate puddings
Chocolate triflfle Find more chocolate recipes at homelife.com.au/recipes/ collections/chocolate-desserts