We recently spent the weekend with friends at the Vaal. Such a tranquil spot and almost immediately after arriving one starts to feel relaxed (maybe it’s the sunset cruise with obligatory drink in hand). I was tasked with dessert (something transportable, easy to assemble, chocolate of course). I came across this chocolate mousse cake with figs – easy to adapt to gluten-free and looks rather impressive at the same time. I took the recipe from For the Love of Baking by Sarah Dall. Enter the gluten-free chocolate mousse cake. Apologies for the quick photo taken below.
- 50 grams crushed hazelnuts
- 200 grams dark chocolate digestive biscuits
- 45 ml butter
- 15 ml golden syrup
- 4 jumbo eggs
- 275 grams dark chocolate
- 75 ml cream
- 40 grams castor sugar
Lightly grease and line the base of a 25cm spring form cake pan.
Toast the crushed hazelnuts in a frying pan over medium heat, turning the nuts frequently and being careful not to burn them.
Crush the biscuits in a food processor. Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a small saucepan over a low heat, then stir in the biscuits and nuts. Press the biscuit mixture over the base of the cake pan and refrigerate until needed.
Separate the eggs. Melt the chocolate and cream together in a glass bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir briefly to combine, and leave to cool slightly. Mix in the egg yolks.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until thick, then add the sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Using a metal spoon, fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Spoon this on top of the biscuit base and refrigerate overnight.
Decorate the cake with fresh figs (in season) and serve with whipped cream.
This dessert is rich and decadent and is not for the faint hearted. I am generally pretty hardcore when it comes to desserts, but even I thought wow could I eat another slice of this right now (yes ok maybe I would have!). But it is good, and a fellow uber chocolate lover made sure that there was nothing left which always makes me think job well done.
A few shots from the Vaal
And how beautiful it looks in Summer
There are a quite a lot of recipes bouncing around at the moment for chocolate avocado mousse. All the taste but a vegetarian healthier option. And it’s gluten-free. Chocolate and avocado does sound like a slight odd mix, but after having an avocado shake in a Vietnamese restaurant in Shanghai (as one does), I was up for the challenge of using avocado in its non-traditional form. I found this recipe here. And the shake? Well it was pretty good.
- Flesh of 2 firm ripe avocado, chopped
- 125 gram dark chocolate broken into pieces (good quality high % cocoa) *for dairy free, ensure you use dairy-free chocolate
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 1/3 cup coconut cream
Melt chocolate in a double boiler: place chocolate in a glass bowl to melt over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl or else it will risk the chocolate burning or becoming grainy) and stir with a wooden spoon occasionally, until chocolate has melted.
Puree avocado, coconut cream, honey and melted chocolate together until smooth. Spoon into serving glasses and chill in fridge for 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
Serve garnished with chocolate shavings and berries as desired.
This is not the sexiest dessert to make. Melting chocolate and butter together is sexy. Avocado and coconut cream in a processor not so sexy! But this recipe is simple and easy to put together with a quick chill time. The ingredients only made enough for the 2 small glasses in the picture so you would need quite a quantity of avocado to make enough when having people round for dinner. So the verdict? It tastes like a chocolate pudding, is quite rich and it does work. If you (like me) choose your “once in a blue moon treat” dessert to be deliciously sinful then save yourself for the good stuff. But if you are looking for something to satisfy that sweet tooth that does not come with a run round the block, then this is the way to go, plus the health benefits that come with the avocado and no dairy make this a very virtuous dessert. So you can have your pudding and eat it!
I saw this recipe recently in Woman & Home and I was forced to try it almost immediately – chocolate and fruit in one wicked dessert! The article said that the recipe was by James Martin but I have not been able to find it online so far. As you can see this was eaten faster than I could take a photo, partly because it needed to be eaten hot out of the oven, and partly because it tasted so good!
Ingredients (serves 4)
200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
50g castor sugar
Pouring cream or ice cream to serve if desired
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
Break the chocolate into pieces. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
Separate the eggs, reserving the whites, then whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture.
Whisk the egg whites with the sugar to form stiff peaks, and then fold them into the chocolate mixture.
Place the raspberries into a large ovenproof dish measuring approximately 15 x 20cm, then top with the chocolate mixture.
Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, remove and serve immediately with cream if desired.
The notes to the recipe say that this could also just into the fridge to set as an unbaked mousse as well, but cooking it changes the flavour. In the interests of research I kept a small amount of the mixture into the fridge as well. The fridge version was basically a chocolate mousse which tasted a lot better the next day. The baked mousse almost takes on the consistency of gooey cake with small pieces of raspberries dotted throughout – really was very nice and also something a little different to serve.