Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rosemary Chocolate Mousse with Fleur de Sel


A few months ago, I told you about one of my favorite chocolate cakes, Gennaro Contaldo's Torta al Cioccolato e Vino Rosso. The thing that makes this cake different from other chocolate cakes is its grown-up taste. It demands to be enjoyed with a good glass of red wine, preferably the same that went into the cake. As far as I'm concerned though, the magic ingredient is not so much the wine as that humble, little sprig of rosemary which goes on top of the cake. The slight bitterness of this aromatic herb seeps past the frosting and delicately infuses the chocolate sponge. Both flavors mirror each other and instead of entering into a competition in your mouth, they become more intense.

With that same idea in mind, I decided to make a chocolate mousse today. This time though, I wanted the taste of the rosemary to be more pronounced, and to make that all even more exciting, I added some fleur de sel, a beautiful ingredient not just meant for savory dishes. While I was making the mousse, I could just imagine how all of these flavors would come together. Waiting until after dinner to sample my newest creation was not an option, so after pouring the velvety smooth mousse into my slightly oversized cappuccino cups, I let one greedy finger glide into the mixing bowl, collecting as much as it could possibly hold before disappearing into my mouth. If I tell you that this was nothing short of a culinary masterpiece, it would sound as though I was boasting, but perhaps at times like these, a little boasting is in order. Here's the recipe:

Rosemary Chocolate Mousse with Fleur de Sel

*150ml milk
*1 medium sized sprig of rosemary, needles plucked plus a few extra bits, left whole, to serve
*200g good quality, pure chocolate, broken in small bits
*250ml double cream
*80g caster sugar
*fat pinch fleur de sel and some extra to serve


Remove the needles from the sprig of rosemary. Bring milk to the boil with the rosemary and then turn heat down to a very gentle simmer. Allow milk to simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile melt chocolate au bain marie. Fill the sink with a bit of cold water. Sift the needles from the milk and add the chocolate, beating very well with a whisk. Plunge the pan into the cold water and let mixture cool for about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. In a bowl, whip the cream, sugar and salt until the cream is almost stiff. Add the cooled chocolate mixture in three batches to the cream, stirring well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Pour the mousse into 4 small ramequins, or in my case, into three cappuccino cups. Add a tiny sprig of rosemary to each cup and refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving, sprinkle each portion with another pinch of fleur de sel.

14 comments:

Preyanka said...

Sounds really great. I love the use of fleur de sel and other "special" salts on (or in) dessert:)

Pinkeagle said...

Wow, this looks amazing paola :)
Congratulations! Love how silky-smooth it is.

Andreea said...

i think this is a great combo. haven't thought of it before. looks and i bet tastes great

BlondebutBright said...

I can't shake the thought of pouring wine into the mixture and then drinking the rest with the finished product. Yum! Your blog is very inspiring to me - I need to start getting more creative with what I eat.

Jerry said...

I've never thought of rosemary with chocolate, but I can see how it is delicious.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Paola, what an interesting combination of flavors!
The mousse looks sinful and very grown up.

Kelly-Jane said...

I've made a rosemery and choc mousse before, a restaurant near Edinburgh serves it and I made it from his recipe. I think mine had a couple of sprigs of rosemaary and was too strong, I must try it again though, because it had clear potential to be a special dessert, mmm.

Paola said...

Thanks for your comments everyone! This really is something you must try! I had some today and the flavors just seemed to blossom after a day in the fridge! One thing though...perhaps it's better to make 6 servings instead of four. I was very optimistic and used three big cappuccino cups...we could only manage a third of that!

paola

Mara said...

I'm not sure my hubby would like the rosemary flavour but the consistency of the mousse seems to be wonderful :)

Sandy said...

What a delicious sounding combination. And it seems like a treat to make something just for the adults for a change!

Hillary said...

Wow - you said it! This does look like a flavor combination from heaven! Mmmmm

Nora B. said...

Paola, it's ok to boast if you found something good and sounds like this is a winner. I will have to give this ago since you've made me so curious.

jenny b said...

i made this and oh. my. god. it was incredible. i impressed all my friends (and myself) since i hardly ever make dessert. this is the real deal for chocolate lovers.

Paola said...

Excellent! I'm glad you liked it!