Haaaaaaaaaaaappy New Year!!! To start the new year with a BANG! I thought I’d make a rich, luscious dessert in anticipation of a prosperous 2014! I combined a few of the recipes I know to make an Espresso Brownie with a Brandied Cherry Compote and an Amaretto Chocolate Mousse. The bold colours and flavour of the dish really brings out the festivities of the season. Coffee, amaretto liquer and brandy ALL IN ONE DESSERT?! Craziness! But trust me, they work well together, adding layer upon layer of complex flavours that is sure to wow dinner guests. Whats more, the components of this dessert can be prepared well ahead of time, and only requires a quick assembly process, ideal for dinner parties.
So here it is, another Nommy Noms recipe. Enjoy!
Serves a village (well… it makes a 13×9 inch brownie slab)
- 1/3 C cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 C + 2 Tbsp boiling water
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 C plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 C sugar
- 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
The fun part:
- Heat oven to 350F. Line a 13×9 inch tray with 2 layers of tin foil, making sure the foil folds out on the side. (You will need to use the foil to lift and transfer the brownie out of the tray later on). Grease foil and set aside.
- Whisk cocoa, espresso powder and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk till chocolate melts. Whisk in oil and melted butter (mixture may appear lumpy, but that is fine). Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and everything is fully incorporated. Whisk together flour and salt ina small bowl and then mix into the batter with a spatula till combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan, spread batter into the corners of the pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 30-35 minutes, till a skewer comes out of the center of the brownie with a few moist crumbs attached to it.
- Transfer pan to wire rack and let coolf or 1 1/2 hrs.
- Remove brownies from pan using foil. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely (about 1 hr). Cut and serve.
Amaretto Chocolate Mousse (Gordan Ramsay’s Recipe)
Serves 4 (Makes about 12 Quenelles)
- 100g dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate
- 300mL double cream (whipping cream works well too)
- 2 Tbsp amaretto (strongly recommended, it highlights the flavour of the chocolate)
- 1 large egg white
- 50g white sugar
- A sprinkle of amaretti biscuits crumbs (for garnish)
The Fun Part:
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and set aside. Heat half of the cream in a saucepan until it boils, remove from heat, add the chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate has melted into a smooth chocolate cream.
- Pour mixture into a bowl set over iced water and add the rest of the cream. Add the amaretto liquour. Using a handheld whisk, beat the mixture until it forms soft peaks . Remove the bowl from the iced water.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites with a beater until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue whisking to a soft meringue (ie. glossy stiff peaks). Carefully fold the meringue through the chocolate mixture, then spool or pipe into desired shape.
- Can be served immediately, or can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. (I prefer it when it is a bit colder, and recommend refrigerating it for at least an hour before serving). Garnish mousse with amaretti biscuit crumbs.
- For my brownie dish, you can spoon the mousse into quenelles, set it on a piece of parchment paper and refrigerate it to allow for quick assembly later on! Here’s a link to a video to show you how to form quenelles: http://www.finecooking.com/videos/how-to-shape-ice-cream-quenelle.aspx
Soft Peaks: when the whisk is removed from the mixture, the mixture forms a soft curl for a moment and melds back into the mixture.
Stiff peaks: when the whisk is removed from the mixture, the mixture forms a “stiff” pointy end with no curls. Egg whites should appear glossy.
Brandy Cherry Compote
(Serves about 8, makes 3 cups)
- 4 1/2 C Pitted Cherry Halves (about 20 oz)
- 1 C Orange Juice
- 2 tsp Brandy Essence
- 1/2 C Sugar
The Fun Part
- Bring all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and heat until it boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer cherries until soft and they begin to release their juices (around 7-10 mins). Remove cherries from the pan of juices with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl, set aside.
- Simmer the cherry juice for another 15-20minutes until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the cherry syrup over the cherries and serve.
- Cherry Compote (warm)
- Chocolate Mousse Quenelles
- Amaretti biscuit crumbles
- Mint leaves (one for each serving)
- Raspberries (one for each serving)
The uber fun part:
- Place a layer of the cherry compote on a dish.
- Layer a slice of brownie on the compote.
- Top with the chocolate mousse quenelle
- Sprinkle a line of amaretti biscuit crumbles
- Garnish the quenelle with a piece of mint and a raspberry.