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Chocolate liégeois

Coffee granita, chocolate mousse and a cherry on top. This dessert is the whole package.

By Alistair Wise & Teena Kearney-Wise
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking (plus freezing, chilling)
  • Serves 8
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"The truth is I can fall in love with a word, even a letter," says Wise. "There was a time I was obsessed with Pedro Ximénez because I liked having an X on the menu. Liégeois, the key parts of which are coffee and cream, falls into that same category, but it also helps that it's completely delicious."

Ingredients

  • 200 gms Amarena cherries (see note), to serve
  • 300 ml pouring cream, whipped, to serve
Coffee granita
  • 400 ml filter-strength coffee
  • 400 ml unfiltered apple juice
Chocolate mousse
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 55 gm (¼) caster sugar
  • 25 gm plain flour, sifted
  • 180 gm couverture dark chocolate (65%-70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream

Method

  • 1
    For coffee granita, combine coffee and apple juice in a shallow metal tray and freeze, stirring and scraping occasionally with a fork, until ice crystals form and granita is frozen and fluffy like snow (3 hours, or overnight; in this case the apple juice isn't really used for its flavour, it's more that its sweetness and high solids make a mean granita).
  • 2
    For chocolate mousse, bring milk and vanilla to just below the boil in a saucepan then remove from heat. Whisk egg and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale and creamy, then fold in flour. Pour a third of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine, then pour into saucepan with remaining milk. Bring to the boil, stirring until thick, then remove from heat and stir in chocolate to melt. Pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature (10 minutes). Whisk cream to soft peaks and fold into chocolate mixture, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill and set (mousse can be made up to 2 days in advance).
  • 3
    Spoon mousse into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm star nozzle and pipe into 8 chilled parfait glasses, then layer with 2-3 spoons of granita and a few cherries including their syrup. Repeat the layers, pipe whipped cream over the top and top with extra cherries and some granita to serve.

Notes

Amarena cherries are available from select delicatessens such as
The Essential Ingredient.