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Recipe: Boozy Mocha Mousse

Boozy Mocha Mousse

Alisha Mahy is a local chef and Ashburton Cookery School graduate. You can see more of Alisha’s recipes on her blog “Nour-ish

This recipe combines my two greatest loves; desserts and alcohol, funnily enough however, it’s not something I do very often. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.

You’ll normally find me drinking my alcohol, but now you will find me eating it too. When I was handed Haut Maison Espresso Vodka, the first thing that came to mind was tiramisu. The only problem with that is that tiramisu wouldn’t really be doing anything new with a coffee liqueur (and totally unrelated but I don’t like tiramisu. I am obviously impartial and this didn’t impact my decision.)

After much deliberation, I settled on a rather elaborate dessert, which is a spin on a dish I have on my blog. Switching peanut butter for hazelnut butter (very good decision), and abandoning the cremeaux in favour of a boozy chocolate mousse. Not forgetting the espresso vodka caramel, which might just be my new salted caramel. For good measure I threw in some praline and meringue, just to add some different textures and show there’s little things you can do to make a dessert more interesting.

By no means do you need to make the whole thing if you aren’t feeling up for the challenge, although you can easily spread it over a number of days, and none of the elements are too mentally taxing.

If you were to choose to make just one thing; the caramel would be perfect poured over ice cream, or sticky toffee pudding, and the mousse could be served with crushed biscuits and ice cream. But please don’t skip the hazelnut parfait.

I hope this inspires at least one person to start consuming their alcohol in the form of food.

Serves 8

Hazelnut Parfait

  • 100g sugar
  • 120g water
  • 120g egg yolk
  • 220g hazelnut butter (warmed)
  • 6g maldon sea salt
  • 300g Greek yoghurt

Combine the sugar and water and heat to 118c (using a sugar thermometer).
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks until pale in colour.
Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg yolks and whisk until fully combined.
Mix in the warm hazelnut butter, then fold in the Greek yoghurt and the salt.
Pour into the moulds and freeze until firm.
Note: this will need to be removed from the freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Boozy Mocha Mousse

  • 200g dark chocolate (I used 70% Lindt)
  • 80ml orange juice (approx one large orange)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs, separated, plus 2 extra egg whites
  • 40ml Haut Maison Espresso Vodka
  • 300ml Greek yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar

Place the chocolate and orange juice in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt slowly. Once melted, sieve in the cocoa powder.
Allow to cool slightly, then add in the egg yolks and Espresso Vodka.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy.
Fold in the egg whites in 4 batches, being aggressive with the first batch, and being increasingly more gentle to keep the air in the whites.
Finally, fold in the Greek yoghurt.
Pour into moulds or ramekins and leave in the fridge to set.

Espresso Vodka Caramel

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over a low heat.
Stir until the sugar dissolves and then turn the heat up to high and stop stirring.
Cook until the caramel is a deep amber colour, then remove from the heat.
Add the cream, stir and return the pan to a low heat, stirring until caramel is smooth.
Pour in the Espresso Vodka, and transfer to a jar for storing if not using immediately.

Note: the caramel will keep in the fridge for a week, but will need to be warmed over a low heat before serving.

Hazelnut Meringue

  • 40g whole blanched hazelnuts
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 10g high quality cocoa powder
  • 65g egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 50g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160c. Position one shelf in the middle of the oven.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes, until fragrant and toasted. Roughly chop and put to one side.
Meanwhile, sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the egg whites into a mixing bowl along with the salt and cream of tartar and whisk (using an electric whisk if possible). Whisk until soft peaks form, and then gradually add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk.
The mixture should now be thick and glossy. Gently fold in the icing sugar, cocoa powder and hazelnuts.
Spread the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and use an offset spatula to smooth it out to a rectangle, roughly 1cm thick.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes, rotate the tray and pop back in for another 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before chopping into shards.

Hazelnut Praline

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • Teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over a medium high heat. Refrain from stirring as this will cause the sugar to crystallise.
Once completely melted, and the sugar has turned a deep amber, add the hazelnuts to the pan and swirl to coat the hazelnuts in the caramel.
Tip the mixture onto baking paper, sprinkle over the salt and allow to cool.
Once completely cool, blitz in a food processor, until a sandy texture is achieved.

Note: if making in advance, store this in the freezer. It does not need to be defrosted before serving, but the freezer stops the sugar from ‘weeping’ and getting sticky.

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