Friday, October 19, 2012

Chocolate Mousse with Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

chocolate mousse with candied popcorn
By the time you read this, I'll be on a plane to Malaysia. Wheeee! I'm definitely looking forward to a nice getaway (and my first overseas trip) with the boy, especially after how crazy these last few months have been. When it rains, it pours, right! But don't worry, I have a few great posts lined up for you while I'm gone. 

I have a confession to make. I can count the times I've made chocolate mousse on one hand. Actually, it's more like three fingers. Which makes me wonder whyyyy I haven't made it more often. For some reason I always thought it was hard to do (I'm not great with gently folding) and gone and made ice cream instead. But boy have I been missing out.

I've always been intrigued by chocolate and olive oil mousse recipes, wondering how it would affect the texture and taste. As with any recipe, the quality of your ingredients matters so use the best olive oil you've got. I used Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, which has now become one of my favourites. The hint of fleur de sel is such a perfect match for dark chocolate.

chocolate mousse with candied popcorn
I decided to pair it with some homemade caramel popcorn that carried through the hint of salt, and also a little glug of bourbon thrown in for good measure, though this is totally optional. I have to say, the result was amazing - and I couldn't believe how easy the mousse was to make.

It was rich and dark, not too sweet, and best served in small glasses. This is definitely one recipe I'll keep in mind for dinner parties and entertaining as it can be made in advance and easily doubled - not to mention the fact that it would be a surefire crowd pleaser!

Lindt Dark chocolate was sent to me as a gift.

IMG_9736
Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse with Bourbon Caramel Popcorn
Serves 4

Mousse (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)
• 100g Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt
• 60ml good quality extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 eggs, separated
• 80g caster sugar
• 15ml bourbon (optional)

Bourbon Caramel Popcorn
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 40g popping corm
• 60g caster sugar
• 50g butter, coarsely chopped
• 30g honey
• 15ml bourbon
• ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the mousse, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (2-3 minutes). Add oil in a thin, steady stream, stirring to combine, and set aside. Whisk yolks and half the sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (2-3 minutes), fold in chocolate mixture and bourbon, if using and set aside.

Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in the clean bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes), gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until glossy (1-2 minutes). Fold into chocolate mixture with ½ teaspoon sea salt, then divide among four serving glasses and refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours).

For candied popcorn, heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add oil, then corn, quickly cover with a lid and shake pan occasionally until all corn has popped (2-4 minutes). Transfer popcorn to a tray and cool to room temperature. Discard un-popped kernels. Combine sugar, butter, honey and bourbon in a large saucepan over medium high heat, stir until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and boil until caramel (3-5 minutes). Stir in salt. Add popcorn, stir to coat, and pour onto a baking paper lined tray until set. Serve with chocolate mousse.

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