This Warm Chocolate Mousse recipe comes from chef Stephen Harris’ new book The Sportsman published by Phaidon. The restaurant of the same name was voted Best Restaurant in the UK in 2016, a remarkable achievement for any chef but especially for Stephen, a former historian and financial advisor, who is self-taught.
‘I had always wanted to serve a warm mousse, and I found further inspiration for the idea back in 2005, when I was flicking through the elBulli cookbook one day,’ says Stephen. ‘In my version, I began by spooning salted caramel into a coupé glass, then topped it, elBulli-style, with foaming warm chocolate from an iSi whipper. Because I always like to serve contrasting tastes, the dark chocolate demanded a milky flavoured ice cream. I put a scoop on top and it slowly sank into the warm mousse as it arrived at the table. This was perfect: both delicious and theatrical.’
175 ml/ oz (¾ cup) double (heavy) cream
125 g/4 oz (2⁄3 cup) caster (super fine) sugar
500 ml/17 oz (generous 2 cups) double (heavy) cream
700 ml/24 oz (scant 3 cups) full-fat (whole) milk
400 ml/14 oz (1 2⁄3 cups) Sugar Syrup [see recipe below] 1 teaspoon rosewater
225 ml/8 oz (1 cup) double (heavy) cream
380 g/13 oz 70% chocolate, roughly chopped
225 g/8 oz (1 cup) egg whites
1. Start by making the caramel. Heat the cream to just below boiling, then remove from the heat. In another pan, heat the sugar until it melts and turns dark brown. Take off the heat and pour in the hot cream. Be careful as it may spit. Return to the heat and warm gently to ensure the caramel is completely dissolved. Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
2. For the milk sorbet, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blitz at high speed. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
3. To make the chocolate mousse, heat the cream in a pan until it starts to simmer. Add the chocolate to the hot cream, take off the heat and whisk gently to amalgamate. Add the egg whites to the chocolate cream mixture and whisk by hand again to incorporate.
4. Pour into an iSi whipper and fit with two N20 cream chargers. Sit in a 65C/150F water bath for 1 hour before using, shaking every now and then to equalise the temperature.
5. We serve this dessert in glass ice cream coupes. Start by putting a tablespoon of caramel in the bottom of each coupe and add a pinch of salt. Shake the iSi whipper, lower the nozzle to just above the caramel and squirt in the chocolate mousse, keeping the nozzle beneath the mousse as it emerges. Fill to 2 cm/ inch below the top of the coupe. Leave for 1 minute, then carefully sit a scoop of sorbet on top. It will stay in place for a few minutes before slowly slipping in, so serve it straight away.
Makes 350 ml/12 fl oz (1½ cups)
200 ml/7 fl oz (scant 1 cup) water
200 g/7 oz (1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1. Combine the water and sugar in a pan and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
From Stephen Harris’ book with Marina O’Loughlin The Sportsman is published by Phaidon and you can get your copy online here at the Phaidon store.