Gordon's chocolate velvet
- Preparation and cooking time
- More effort
- Serves 6
Gordon Ramsay’s tips make this elegant dessert a sure winner
For the dark chocolate mousse
For the white chocolate base
- STEP 1
For the dark chocolate mousse, break the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water and heat until just melted. Remove and cool to room temperature.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, put the egg yolks, sugar and 3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl (the water slackens the mixture and stops it from going too thick). Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat to a thick, pale yellow foam that holds a trail when the beaters are lifted up, about 2-3 minutes. This is called a sabayon.
- STEP 3
Now whip the cream and milk together in another bowl, using a large balloon whisk if possible (so you are less likely to overwhip). Beat until the mixture starts to become foamy and holds a soft shape – don’t overbeat.
- STEP 4
When the melted chocolate is the same temperature as the sabayon and whipped cream, pour the sabayon gently into the cooled chocolate and, using a plastic spatula, fold the two together until completely mixed in. Tip the whipped cream gently into the chocolate sabayon mixture, and using a large metal spoon, gently fold together using a figure-of-eight action. Don’t worry if you have a few white flecks, that’s better than overmixing. Chill while you do the base.
- STEP 5
Break up the wafers in a bowl and, using the top of a rolling pin, crush roughly (not too fine).
- STEP 6
Melt the white chocolate as before, then mix into the crushed wafers.
- STEP 7
Peel the mango using a sharp knife. Cut off 18 thin slices.
- STEP 8
Divide half the white chocolate base mixture between six small glasses. Stick three mango slices down the side of each glass. then pipe the mousse using a piping bag fitted with a wide plain nozzle, about 2cm (or use a spoon) to fill a third of the glass. Spoon in another layer of white chocolate base mix and repeat with the last of the mousse. Scatter a few flaked almonds on top. Chill for an hour or two, until set.
WHIPPING THE CREAM
Overwhipping cream will spoil a mousse. So I “three quarter” whip it, that is underwhip, so it is a light, slightly runny foam. Adding a little milk also relaxes the cream and stops it becoming too thick.
THE SECRET OF THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY
Here’s how to check if the final mixture is the right consistency: it should coat the top of your finger like a glove and not run down. Then you get to lick it off.
MIXING IT ALL TOGETHER
When combining the chocolate, whisked egg and cream mixture, they should all be at the same temperature, to make it easier and so the mixture won’t separate. Also, if the chocolate is too hot, it will weaken the strength of the whisked egg mixture.
CHOOSE THE BEST INGREDIENTS
The secret behind a fantastic chocolate mousse is to use quality chocolate. Look for something 60% or above cocoa solids – anything under won’t do.
HOW TO MELT CHOCOLATE
When melting chocolate over simmering water, don’t have the water too hot or the chocolate will melt too quickly and may go grainy, then you won’t get a smooth mousse. Don’t stir it too much either, it’s better to take it off the heat once softened, then let it melt naturally. If you use a microwave to melt it, use a defrost or low-wattage setting, as it can be quite ferocious. A gentle heat for melting white chocolate is even more important as it is prone to seizing.
THE PERFECT FINISH
Piping the mousse mixture, rather than spooning it into the glasses stops it from dribbling down the sides. The easiest way to fill the piping bag with the mousse is to sit the bag in a measuring jug and fold back the top of the bag to hold it open.