Dark chocolate & salted caramel mousse with fennel & almond biscotti
As part of an Ashburton Cookery School demo & dine event, Jody Spencer presents this indulgent dessert
For the mousse
100g granulated sugar
45g unsalted butter, cubed
½ tsp sea salt
180ml double cream
170g 70% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 large eggs, separated
Extra cream and chocolate for garnish, optional
For the fennel & almond biscotti
25g whole blanched almonds
1 tsp fennel seeds
115g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
85g caster sugar
45g soft butter
¼ tsp almond extract
Icing sugar for dusting
Put the granulated sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat. When it begins to caramelise around the edges, swirl the pan gently then continue to cook the sugar until the caramel is a deep amber colour.
Remove the caramel from the heat and quickly whisk in 45g of butter, stirring with a clean wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the sea salt and gradually whisk in the double cream, stirring until smooth.
Add a spoonful of the salted caramel to the bottom of your chosen pots. Set aside and allow to cool slightly before putting in the fridge to set. Meanwhile, add the chocolate to the remaining salted caramel and stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, whisk in the egg yolks.
In a clean separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Fold one-third of the whipped egg whites in with the chocolate and stir to loosen the mixture. Gently fold the remaining egg whites through the chocolate mousse. Divide between your pots and chill for at least eight hours.
To make the biscotti, preheat your oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan-assisted/gas mark 3. Line a baking try with baking parchment. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and toast the blanched almonds and fennel seeds for a couple of minutes until slightly toasted all over. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream 45g of butter and sugar together. Mix the egg with the almond extract and slowly add to the creamed butter. Stir through the flour, then fold through the almonds and fennel seeds.
Shape into two logs, roughly 10x5cm, and place onto the baking trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave on the baking tray and place onto a wire rack for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, cut into 1-2cm thick slices and lay directly onto the wire rack. Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy and dry. (These store well in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.)
Serve the mousse chilled with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, with the fennel & almond biscotti on the side.
Recipe by Jody Spencer
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