Thursday, December 01, 2011
Christmas Recipes: Chocolate Mousse with Cranberry Fruit Soup
Photo by Andres Teiss
Last year we had a first proper snowfall in mid-November, and that snow never really went away until late Spring. We had a beautiful winter wonderland for months. This year is totally different - it's early December, it's still green outside, and I get to pick fresh herbs from my garden. That's a perk, for sure, but I do miss snow that makes our dark winters so much lighter and more enjoyable. However, the Christmas is soon around the corner - with or without the snow - so I'll be posting mostly Christmas recipes during this month. I recently had to develop six recipes for a particular supermarket here in Estonia, which are included in their 2011 Christmas Newsletter*. This lovely and different dessert - luscious chocolate mousse with refreshingly light cranberry fruit soup (or kissel) - was one of them.
It's best to make the chocolate mousse on the previous day, as it has time to cool and set then. However, I prepared all six dishes, including this mousse, within two and half hours, so it can be made on the night of serving as well - just it'll be a wee bit more stressful :)
* The photos for the newsletter were shot by Andres Teiss, and he has kindly allowed me to use those for my blog posts as well.
Chocolate Mousse with Cranberry Fruit Soup
Serves six to eight
Photo by Andres Teiss
200 g dark chocolate (I used Estonian "Bitter" chocolate), coarsely chopped
1 large organic egg, separated
1 to 2 Tbsp brandy, cognac or liqueur
200 to 250 ml (a cup) whipping cream
Cranberry fruit soup:
1 l cranberry juice drink (I like Granini)
sugar, to taste
3 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch + few Tbsp cold water
fresh or frozen cranberries
To make the chocolate mousse: place the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and either melt in the microwave or place over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat, add the alcohol and stir in the egg yolk.
Whisk the egg white until stiff foam forms, then gently fold into the chocolate mousse.
Whisk the cream until it turns thick, smooth and forms soft peaks. Fold about one third into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
Cover the bowl with a clingfilm and place into a cold fridge for couple of hours.
To make the cranberry fruit soup, pour the juice drink into a medium-sized saucepan. Add some sugar to taste, if you wish so. Bring gently to the simmer, then add the starch and water slurry, stirring while doing so. If you're using corn starch, then bring again into a boil and simmer gently, stirring, until the fruit soup thickens. If you're using potato starch, then bring again _almost_ to the simmering point and then promptly remove from the heat. Cool completely.
To serve, take two large spoons and spoon large dollops of chocolate mousse into serving bowls. Pour cranberry fruit soup around the mousse and garnish with some fresh or frozen berries. .