Choco­late & or­ange mousse with drunken prunes

Ready in 30 min­utes plus chill­ing time | Serves 6-8 |



½ cup freshly squeezed or­ange juice Zest (in fine threads) 1 or­ange 2 Tbsp caster su­gar ½ cup wa­ter 1 cin­na­mon quill 12-16 cup pit­ted prunes ¼ cup brandy


200g dark choco­late (I used Whit­taker’s 72% Dark Ghana), bro­ken into pieces 25g but­ter ½ cup cream 4 eggs, sep­a­rated ¼ cup es­presso (or strong cof­fee) Finely grated zest 2 or­anges 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup


To make prunes, add all in­gre­di­ents, ex­cept brandy, to a small pot. Bring to a boil on a high heat, then re­duce to a sim­mer and cover with a lid. Cook for about 8-10 min­utes or un­til prunes are plump and liq­uid has al­most dis­ap­peared. Re­move from heat, pour over brandy and stir well. Al­low to cool com­pletely. Store prunes and syrup in an air­tight con­tainer in the fridge, bring­ing them back to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore serv­ing.


For mousse, place choco­late, but­ter and cream in a mi­crowave-proof bowl and heat in mi­crowave in 30-sec­ond bursts, stir­ring af­ter each, un­til just melted (about 2 min­utes). Re­move and stir well un­til the choco­late is smooth and glossy.


While choco­late is melt­ing, whisk egg yolks in a bowl for about 1 minute un­til silky. Gen­tly stir the yolks into the hot choco­late mix­ture. Stir in the es­presso and or­ange zest.


Whip egg whites un­til soft peaks form, then add maple syrup and con­tinue to whip un­til mix­ture forms a glossy, al­most meringue-like con­sis­tency.


Take about a third of the egg whites and stir into the choco­late mix­ture un­til well in­cor­po­rated. Then, as gen­tly as pos­si­ble, fold through the re­main­ing egg whites. Be care­ful not to over-mix – stop as soon as there are no streaks re­main­ing. Di­vide mousse be­tween six to eight ramekins or small glasses and re­frig­er­ate for at least a few hours to chill.


To serve, spoon a cou­ple of drunken prunes onto each choco­late mousse.

PROPS Ateco cake stand, vin­tage Crown Lynn plate (hold­ing green beans), vin­tage Welles­ley Club din­ner plates, all from Flot­sam & Jet­sam. Plain, gold-rimmed plates, Broste cake knife, brass serv­ing spoons, turmeric tea towel, La Chamba oval dish...

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