150 mlpouring cream180 gmdark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped 2egg yolks15 mlFrangelico½ tspvanilla extract140 gmeggwhites (about 2½ eggs)45 gmcaster sugarTo serve:lightly sweetened whipped creamCocoa nib brittle100 gmcaster sugar70 gmliquid glucose25 gmcocoa nibs (see note)10 gmunsalted butterScrapedseeds of 1 vanilla beanLargepinch of bicarbonate of soda
Whisk cream until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes) and set aside. Melt chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Whisk yolks in an electric mixer on high speed until pale (1 minute). Meanwhile, combine Frangelico, vanilla extract and 30ml boiling water in a bowl. While whisking, gradually add to yolks, then whisk until pale and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Reduce speed to low, add melted chocolate and whisk to just combine, then fold in cream. Whisk eggwhite and sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes), fold into chocolate mixture and divide among four 350ml serving glasses. Smooth tops and refrigerate to set (3-4 hours).
For cocoa nib brittle, stir sugar and 40ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stir in glucose and bring to the boil. Cook until mixture reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer, then add cocoa nibs and stir continuously until mixture reaches 155C. Remove from heat, carefully stir in butter, vanilla and ¼ tsp sea salt (be careful; hot mixture will spit). Add bicarbonate of soda, stir to incorporate, pour onto a sheet of baking paper, top with another sheet of baking paper and roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Set aside to cool completely, then break into shards. Cocoa nib brittle will keep stored in an airtight container for 5 days.
Top chocolate mousse with cocoa nib brittle and whipped cream and serve.
Note Cocoa nibs are available from select health-food shops.
This recipe is from the May 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.