Chocolate Mousse Tarts with Candied Orange and Cocoa Bean Crunch

Fill chocolate pastry cases with this feather-light chocolate mousse for a sublime treat that is just as good as a dessert or with afternoon tea.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 12

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INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate pastry:

  • 125g butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg

For the chocolate mousse:

  • 50ml milk
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 250g egg white (approximately 7 egg whites)
  • 25g sugar
  • 500ml whipping cream

For the topping:

  • Zest of 1 orange, finely sliced
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • A few cocoa beans, crushed

METHOD

To make the chocolate pastry:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4. Rub the butter together with the flour and the cocoa powder. Stir in the sugar and add the egg. Bring the pastry dough together into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry to 4-5mm thickness and prick a few holes into it with a fork. Cut circles out of the pastry using a 78-80mm cookie cutter and press them into the bun tray cups. Blind bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove the pastry cases from the tray and allow to cool.

To make the chocolate mousse:

Bring the milk to a boil, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted blend together with the milk. In a scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff and shiny. It should hold its form when the bowl is tipped. Carefully fold the chocolate mixture into the egg white mixture. Whip the cream to form soft peaks, fold into the mixture and place the chocolate mousse into the refrigerator to firm up.

To make the topping:

Blanch the orange zest in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes and remove. Combine the sugar and the water in a saucepan, add the blanched zest and reduce to a syrup. Allow to cool.

To finish:
Melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Brush the baked pastry cases with the melted chocolate (to keep the pastry crisp), and pipe in the chocolate mousse. Top with the candied orange rind and finish with a sprinkle of crushed of cocoa beans.