Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chocolate Mousse with Orange Gelee and Roasted Hazelnuts Parfait

Made this citrus chocolate mousse dessert recipe for a bake-off contest at my company last week. I didn't win though but I am still super proud of the result! :) I named it "Ghana's Dream" because the theme of the contest was to make a chocolate dessert using a milk chocolate coverture made from Ghana cocoa beans. The contest was in celebration of a fund-raising event we had for cocoa farmers in Ghana.

I thought the end product looks amazing and the most fun part of the whole creation process was figuring out how to make those orange peel twirls for the garnish. I probably spent about an hour figuring out how to make those peels twirl. First, I realise I had to dry them out in some way in order for them to hold whatever shape I want them to. Then I realise the fastest way to do that is the microwave! ;) But I have to do it gradually so as not to lose their orange color. I don't want to burn them for sure!

While creating the above parfait recipe for the contest, I didn't have a choice but to use the milk chocolate covertures. Since I don't take dairy, I adapted the recipe to remove the dairy in the chocolate mousse component of the parfait.

Ingredients (makes about 10 shot glasses):
1. Handful of hazelnuts, dry roasted and skin removed and coarsely chopped

For the chocolate mousse:
1. 6 oz unsweetened dark chocolate
2. 3 oz rice milk (or you can use hazelnut milk or soy milk)
3. 4 tablespoons maple syrup
4. 6 tablespoons liquid egg white, pasturized
5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
6. 1 teaspoon fruit pectin

For the orange gelee:
1. Juice from 2 large navel oranges
2. 4 to 5 tablespoons fruit pectin (depending on the consistency of the gelee you desire)

For the garnish:
1. Zest from 1 orange
2. Large peels from 1 orange, thinly sliced

Hazelnut layer:
1. Line a sheet pan with aluminium foil. Preheat the oven to 275C and dry roast the hazelnuts. Takes about 8-10 mins.
2. Remove hazelnuts from the oven to cool completely before peel the skins.
3. Once hazelnuts are peels, coarsely chop them and place an equal amount into each shot glass. Each shot glass should get about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of roasted hazelnuts (depending on the size of your shot glass

Chocolate mousse layer:
4. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over indirect heat with the milk and maple syrup.
5. Once the chocolate is melted, taste to make sure that the chocolate is sweetened to your taste. If not, you can add more maple syrup.
6. Add vanilla essence and mix well while the bowl is still sitting over indirect heat.
7. Remove the chocolate mixture from heat.
8. Using an electric beater, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
9. While the chocolate mixture is still warm, fold in the egg whites. It is normal if you notice your chocolate turn darker color.
10. Add in the fruit pectin at the end and mix well.
11. The chocolate mixture should have a slightly thick consistency.
12. Pour the chocolate mixture into a ziploc bag. Let the air out and close the bag. Cut a small hole at one end of the bag to make a piping bag.
13. Pipe equal amounts of chocolate mousse into each shot glass. The amount of chocolate mousse should fill up to slightly more than 1/2 of the glass. Place the filled glasses into the refrigerator while preparing the orange gelee layer.

Orange gelee layer:
14. Over very very low heat, heat the orange juice and fruit pectin in a shallow pot until the consistency of the mixture is reasonably thick to your liking. Like a jelly.
15. Remove the glasses from the fridge.
16. Pour the mixture into a ziploc bag. Let the air out and close the bag. Cut a small hole at one end of the bag to make a piping bag.
17. Pipe equal amounts of the orange gelee mixture into each shot glass. The amount of orange gelee to chocolate mousse should be about 1:3.
18. Return glasses back to the fridge to completely set while preparing the garnish (if desired)

19. Twirl the thinly sliced orange peels around the thinner tip of a wooden disposable chopstick.
20. Place the chopsticks on a flat microwave-safe plate and microwave for about 45 to 60 seconds. Check the doneness every 15 seconds. Make sure that they don't turn dark orange or brown.

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