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Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

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Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

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Cue the Champagne.

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All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Chocolate mousse


A softly, softly approach is the best way to re-create this luscious, velvety French dessert at home.

You'll need

300 gm dark bittersweet chocolate buttons (70% cocoa solids) 2 eggs 5 egg yolks 165 gm (¾ cup) white sugar 300 ml pouring cream 60 ml (¼ cup) crème fraîche

Method

  • 01
  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, set aside.
  • 02
  • Combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves (1-2 minutes), then brush down sides with a wet pastry brush and cook over medium heat until syrup reaches 115C (soft ball stage; 5-7 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks in an electric mixer until pale (3-5 minutes).
  • 04
  • Whisking continuously, gradually add sugar syrup to egg mixture (avoid hitting the whisk and the sides of the bowl) and whisk until cooled (15 minutes).
  • 05
  • Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and stir until just combined (do not overwork).
  • 06
  • Whisk cream and crème fraîche in a bowl to soft peaks, then set aside.
  • 07
  • Fold chocolate mixture through cream mixture, pour into a large bowl or six 200ml glasses and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).

There are two key methods for making chocolate mousse. The first is the classical French preparation, which entails mixing melted chocolate, butter and raw egg yolks and aerating the mixture with eggwhites and sugar whisked to soft peaks. Whipped cream can be folded through the mousse before it is refrigerated to set. This method is quick and easy, but raw eggs are a cause for concern for some chefs because of the associated potential for food poisoning. As long as the eggs are fresh, undamaged and free of cracks, however, the risk is minimal.

For those who prefer to err on the side of caution, though, this next preparation, adapted from a recipe by Sydney chef Janni Kyritsis, may be more appealing. The idea is to cook the eggs by adding a hot sugar syrup, a technique similar to the one used for making an Italian meringue. First whisk the eggs to increase the volume of air. When the sugar syrup reaches 115C, add it gradually to the egg mixture, whisking continuously so it's evenly distributed. The hot sugar syrup not only cooks the eggs but helps to stabilise them as well.

A great chocolate mousse needs great chocolate. A bittersweet chocolate, which has a high cocoa content of 70 per cent and a complex flavour, will result in a richer mousse. But you can drop the percentage of cocoa solids to 60 or 50 per cent if you prefer a subtler flavour. Avoid chocolate with a lower proportion of cocoa solids, though; it has less setting strength. If the cocoa percentage isn't listed on the packaging, don't use it. Lindt, Valrhona and Callebaut are among our preferred chocolate brands, and they can all be found at select delicatessens and kitchen shops such as Simon Johnson and The Essential Ingredient.

Low, gentle heat is essential when you're melting chocolate. Don't stir very much (or at all) until the chocolate has melted, then stir it only until it's smooth and glossy, lest it split and become grainy. High heat can make chocolate burn and stick, so it's a good idea to melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water. If you're serious about chocolate, a copper bain-marie with a purpose-made ceramic bowl insert from a good kitchenware shop really is hard to beat.

The folding of the mousse mixture is a crucial step. You don't want to lose much air, because it's the air that gives the mousse its light texture. If you're going to add the melted chocolate to your cooked egg mixture in an electric mixer, do it quickly and give the mixture only one or two turns. Any further stirring will deflate the eggs. The other option is to fold the chocolate and egg mixture together with a plastic spatula. Finally, when folding through the cream, the most important thing to remember is to make sure the cooked egg mixture has cooled down to prevent the cream from melting. It's a good idea to use a whisk and rotate the bowl as you fold to incorporate the ingredients quickly, then refrigerate the mousse straightaway so it sets into light, velvety goodness.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jul 2010

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