Last week I posted the recipe for an amazing swiss roll! If you recall, I left some cake aside to make something else.
While you can use any cake you like for this, I chose to use the cake I used for the Chocolate Swiss Roll with Salted Caramel Frosting.
I love making portioned desserts… but I love making bite-sized ones even more! I bought a small semisphere silicone pan a couple of years ago, and I love using it for jellies and other types of moulded dessert. In restaurants, I adore seeing those little desserts on your plate that are just too pretty to eat, but once you dig in you just want more and more! So I wanted to try something new with two (of many) of my favourite desserts – Chocolate Mousse and Panacotta. So a few days later, my labour of love resulted in; Chocolate Mousse and Panacotta bites with a Mocha Glaze!
This was so much fun to make, but it does require some patience. The good news is that the chocolate mousse and panacotta are so decadent and amazing on their own that they can be served separately, just by themselves.
With the extra cake that I made for the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Frosting swiss roll, I cut little circles to fit the diameter of the cake pan and smeared my favourite fruit preserves on them.
For the Chocolate Mousse, you can use bittersweet or Semi sweet chocolate. But try to avoid using milk chocolate because the cocoa content is low and the mousse would not have that intense chocolate flavour.
The chocolate mousse was so light and creamy that I just wanted to eat the entire bowl…but of course I didn’t. Instead I had to be content with having some of the leftover chocolate mousse after filling & smoothing out the semisphere cavities! To give the chocolate mousse a little kick, I added a pinch of chilli (which is the perfect amount). You get just a hint of chilli as you eat the chocolate & it definitely doesn’t overpower the chocolate flavour. However, if you feel that you don’t want the chilli – you absolutely can leave it out. Instead, you can add a little bit of brandy, or nothing at all if you so choose.
I wasn’t a fan of panacotta until I had some at a wonderful restaurant in Lismore, Australia called LaVida (If you ever go to Brisbane or Ballina or Lismore PLEASE check them out! It was one of my favourite places to dine out!). I tried making my own and was hooked! I love it! The first recipe I tried was Donna Hay’s Pannacotta – & I’ve adapted it to my own taste now.
I hollowed out cavities in the chocolate mousse, to make room for the panacotta, and refrigerated this to allow for both the Panacotta and Chocolate mousse to set. I covered them with the cake and unmoulded them on to a cooling rack. The hardest part was that I had to refrigerate them (& sometimes freeze) between each step.
The Mocha glazing was harder than I thought. I made enough of the glaze to coat the semispheres at least 3 times. Again… there’s some waiting in between, BUT look at them? They are so pretty that the effort was completely worth it!
Chocolate Chilli MoussePrint
- 100 g Semi sweet Chocolate
- 50 g butter
- 2 Large eggs separated
- 30 g of sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp of chilli
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Melt the chocolate with the butter and chilli over simmering water in a heat proof bowl or in small bursts in the microwave. Once melted, let it cool to room temperature.
- Whisk egg yolks with half of the sugar until frothy in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk until the yolk mix forms pale thick ribbons and doubles in size.
- Stir in vanilla. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Whisk egg whites (with a clean dry beater) with a pinch of salt. When it starts to foam add the rest of the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks are formed and glossy.
- First fold in the chocolate and egg yolk mix until well mixed through.
- Transfer about 1/4th of the egg white into the chocolate mix and fold through to loosen the chocolate.
- Fold in the rest of the egg whites gently until just combined.
- Pour into 2 serving glasses and let it set in the fridge for at least 3 hours (or overnight) if serving it, as is.
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
- 1 1/2 cups of half n half or 3/4 pouring cream and 3/4 milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Place the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine.
- Leave the gelatine to "bloom" or absorb all the water.
- Place half of the cream/milk mixture with the sugar in a pan and heat it gently over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the gelatine and stir to dissolve the gelatin. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE COME TO A BOIL.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and the rest of the cream/milk.
- This will make enough for 2 portions and can easily be doubled (or tripled).
- Pour into 2 glasses and refrgerate for at least 4 hours till set and chilled.
- 1 cup strong freshly brewed coffee
- 2 tsp gelatine
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 3 tbsp sweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar optional, if you prefer it sweeter
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- Sprinkle the gelatine over the cold water and let it bloom for a few minutes.
- in a small saucepan add the coffee, cocoa, corn syrup and sugar (if using) and whisk constantly on medium heat to melt cocoa and sugar.
- Lower the heat and add the gelatine and whisk until it melts fully in the mixture.
- Allow the mix to cool to room temperate until ready to use.
- Lightly oil the semisphere cavities with vegetable oil spray.
- Cut out circles in your cake sheet (about 1.5 cm thickness) to desired diameter size to fit the semisphere using a circle cutter.
- Brush the top with fruit preserves, jam or sugar syrup to help the cake adhere to the mousse.
- Pipe in chilled chocolate mousse into cavities and let it set in the freezer for a few minutes.
- With a heated spatula (heated under hot water and wiped) level all the spheres.
- With a small spoon, create a cavity in the middle of the chocolate mousse.
- Spoon in pannacotta mixture (before it sets) into the middle and transfer back to the freezer for a few minutes until panacotta sets.
- Level the spheres with a heated spatula.
- Transfer the cake circles (with the sticky side down) and press down gently to make sure cake is sticking to the chocolate mousse. Chill this for a few minutes until mousse is set perfectly and cake is adhered.
- Unmould the chocolate mousse (this is easier to do, the more the chocolate mousse is set - if it is soft, it will be harder to take out).
- Smooth the sides and transfer to a wire rack. placed over a CLEAN, DRY, CAKE SHEET, so you can collect the excess glaze.
- When the glaze is cooled pour over the semisphere.
- Chill the coated cakes.
- Repeat this process at least three times, until a glossy smooth coating is achieved.
- Chill until ready to serve.
The creaminess of the panacotta and the light mousse was a great contrast with the mocha glaze! The chilli is very subtle and just lingers as you savour each bite.
It tastes so decadent and smooth that it doesn’t need to be accompanied with anything, but some fresh strawberries or raspberries will be quite refreshing too!
If you feel that you don’t want to go through making semispheres, You can easily make 4 desserts with these two recipes, by layering the chocolate mousse on top of the panacotta in serving glasses, topped with some berries. It would be just as divine!
You can wow your guests with a wonderful dual layered dessert, or if you have time, beautiful bite sized desserts for that extra dash of glam! Who wouldn’t love something chocolate-y anyway?
Let me know what you think about this dessert by leaving a comment below. Do you like chilli and chocolate together?
There’s much more to come in giramuk’s kitchen in the next few weeks. So follow me on facebook or twitter for pictures and updates on what I’m upto, and other awesome things I find out about around me!
Until next time 🙂