Chocolate cherry mousse with cherry pistachio and white chocolate biscotti
PUBLISHED: 00:00 24 April 2020
Chester’s Bake Off star gives you her best recipes
I’ve made it as far as this – my 5th recipe for Cheshire Life magazine – and it suddenly struck me… I’m yet to feature chocolate in a recipe, which is frankly unacceptable.
Ironically, as a child, I could take or leave chocolate; I’d stockpile eggs at Easter, kindly gifted to me, and rarely break into one – in fact friends would do well out of my cast-offs. However, very fortunately I found a love of the rich, creamy, sweet delight in my teens and haven’t looked back since – phew!
We’re now into May, hopefully finding joy in the pleasures of good weather and, in my opinion, in need of a fresh yet comforting dessert to spend time preparing at home. With that in mind, I’ve drawn on one of my favourite flavour combinations – chocolate and cherry – and magicked up this epic mousse dessert.
A layer of sweet cherry fruit compôte, topped with a light yet rich chocolate mousse and served with a hefty dollop of whipped cream and a homemade crisp, cherry, white chocolate, and pistachio biscotti – drooling yet?
This is a recipe combining comfort and elegance; you could serve it up at your next dinner party – I know I’m planning for the day when this can happen again – or knock it up to enjoy yourself when a little bit of weekend comfort food is required. If this isn’t enough to win you over, it’s also surprisingly simple to make, with just a little patience when it comes to letting it all set. It’s a fuss-free answer to, well, pretty much anything.
Right, that’s enough talking about it… go get cracking.
chocolate cherry mousse with cherry pistachio and white chocolate biscotti
For the mousse
170g chocolate (54% cocoa solids); 90ml whole milk; 75g egg whites; 200g double cream; lemon juice to degrease bowl
For the cherry compôte
250g defrosted frozen cherries; 75g caster sugar; 1tsp lemon juice
For the cherry pistachio and white choc biscotti (Makes approx. 24)
120g plain flour; 3/4tsp baking powder; 85g golden caster sugar; 1 large egg, lightly beaten; 50g white chocolate chips; 60g dried cherries; 20g blanched almonds, chopped and lightly toasted; 20g pistachios, chopped and lightly toasted
50g whipped cream
For the cherry compôte, combine the cherries, caster sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Place on low heat, stir until the sugar dissolves, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until visibly reduced. Transfer to a bowl, allow to cool and divide equally into 4 tumblers.
For the mousse, put the chocolate into a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the milk. In a separate bowl, wiped around with lemon juice, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold egg whites through the chocolate mixture in two stages.
In another bowl, whisk cream to soft, floppy peaks, fold through the chocolate/egg white mixture in 3 stages. Once fully incorporated, divide evenly into tumblers, on top of the compôte. Some in reserve? Baker’s treat! Refrigerate for approx. 3 hours before serving.
For the biscotti, preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, line a baking sheet with baking paper.Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl, mix well. Add the beaten egg, mix until it starts to clump, then knead to form a coherent dough – the mixture may seem dry, keep kneading until it all comes together. Add cherries, nuts and white chocolate and work them into the dough until incorporated and evenly distributed.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a sausage shape approx. 30cm long. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 25-30 mins, or until lightly golden.
Line another baking sheet with baking paper. Once baked, transfer the biscotti to a cooling rack until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp bread knife, cut into approx. 5mm slices. Transfer back onto baking sheets, lying them flat and evenly distributed.
Return to the oven and bake again for 10-15 minutes on each side until dry and golden. Once baked, remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack.
Once the mousse is set and the biscotti cooled, whip cream to medium peaks and pipe or spoon on top of the mousses.