Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recipe In Progress

It's Natalie's birthday today. No, I'm not gonna mention her age. That would be telling. But those of you who know me will be aware that for her birthday every year, I try to come up with a brand-new scratch-built recipe. Something nobody's done... at least, nobody I know about.

Past years have given us ricotta and pepperberry quiche; Yashmak Prawns (prawns slathered in a spicy coriander sauce, then wrapped in phyllo pastry with their tails sticking out, baked until the pastry is golden); Chilled Crab and Avocado Soup, and a bunch of others. Sometimes it doesn't work -- the scallops stir-fried with Cointreau were a bit ambitious, for example. Other times I get a real classic: Duck and Three Mushroom Pie, which I actually sold (as a recipe) to a Noosa restaurateur.

This year, I'm tackling a dessert. I'm calling it a Chocolate Mousse Slice, and so far, it works like this: you make a chocolate cake -- not too light. Has to have a fairly dense crumb. Slice it about two cm thick, lay the slices on a tray, drizzle with Frangelico. (Or Kahlua. Or maybe Baileys. But I like Frangelico.)

Meanwhile, you make yourself a wicked chocolate mousse -- all dark chocolate and eggwhites, with just enough cream to help it fluff up and stay together. Next, you chop your cake slices into rough pieces, and you fold the pieces into the mousse. Pour the whole lot into a springform pan with some baking paper across the bottom.

Theoretically, this will set up into a rich, soft mousse/pudding with moist, crumbly bits of liqueur-flavoured cake all through it to enhance the texture and flavour. In practice? Well, it's sitting in the fridge right now, hopefully setting properly to be served this evening after Natalie's favourite Thai Beef dish.

I'll keep you posted as to how it works out. I've got a few ideas on how it might be improved or enhanced - but I'm always open to suggestions!


No. Fuck it. No changes. I'm going to be immodest here -- instant classic. The moist cake crumbled in the mousse, giving the dish a texture a bit like cookie-crumb ice cream. It was bloody brilliant. Rich as hell, but smooth and chocolaty and with the liqueured cake bits all through the thing, it was definitely something special.


  1. do tell about the mousse i usually make one that is all egg yolks and cream that is a dense hit of awesome, but a lighter one would be handy to have in the arsenal.

  2. I doubt mine is a lot different. I separate the egg-yolks, whip the eggwhites with a little sugar and a pinch of salt until they're stiff. Then melt darkest choc in a double boiler with a small amount of cream (to keep it smooth and make the melt easier) and maybe a touch of liqueur if I feel like it (I threw in a little Frangelico).

    Once the chocolate is melted, I let the ganache cool until I can blend the eggyolks in without them cooking. And then when it's cooled to room temp, the rest of the cream goes in, and it gets whipped until it's stiff. Then the whipped chocolate ganache gets folded gently through the eggwhites, and the resultant mousse is spooned into serving dishes (usuall a red wine glass) and often I'll melt a little more dark chocolate to make a hard shell over the top.

    That's it, really. Sprig of mint to finish?

  3. Top stuff, thats not too different to mine then but i like the hard choc shell and the cake base, will have to bust it out asap, got a few eggs at the moment too.