Chris Salans' Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate Mouse
Chris Salans' Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate Mouse

On the menu: Chris Salans' Valrhona Jivara milk chocolate mousse

A light chocolate mousse with cinnamon gelée, candied kumquats and caramelised almonds in a Spanish saffron syrup

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 2 1/2 hours

Serves: 20

Ingredients:

For the cinnamon gelée:

50g cinnamon

50g water

500 ml milk

2 egg yolks

10 g sugar

300g milk chocolate Jivara (40%)

1½ (1.5-g) gelatin leaves

For the chocolate ladyfingers:

15 egg whites

200g sugar

15g egg yolk (approximately 1 yolk)

150g strong flour

50g unsweetened cocoa

For the chocolate mousse:

5 egg yolks

35g sugar

330 ml milk

100g semi-sweet (dark) chocolate (Araguani 72 %)

230g milk chocolate (Jivara 40%)

3 (1.5g) gelatin leaves

330ml heavy (double) cream

For the poached kumquat and saffron syrup:

1kg kumquats

600g glucose

200g sugar

300ml water

1g Balinese saffron

For the caramelized almonds:

300 g almond flakes

100g sugar

50g brown sugar

4 cinnamon sticks

10ml water

75g egg white (approximately 2 whites)

For the cinnamon emulsion:

2.5 liters water

50g cinnamon sticks

½ piece orange peel

1 vanilla bean

75g sugar

For the chocolate orange tuile:

70g orange peel

60g sugar

200g steamed rice

20g sticky rice flour

10g unsweetened cocoa

To serve and garnish:

whipped cream, sprig of herbs such as lemon balm

Method:

For the cinnamon gelée:

Boil the cinnamon sticks in water until infused, then strain to obtain cinnamon water. Bring the cinnamon water and milk to a boil. Remove from stove.

Make a sabayon with the egg yolk and sugar over a bain marie. Add to the milk–cinnamon mixture. Add the chopped chocolate into the sabayon mixture until fully melted.

Soak the gelatin in cold water. Add to the sabayon mixture and stir until well dissolved. Fill a 0.5-cm diameter, 1-cm long plastic tube. Freeze. When ready to serve, remove the gelée from the tube, twist the tube until gelée comes out. Cut in half.

For the chocolate ladyfingers:

Whip the egg whites and sugar into a meringue in a mixer. Remove from machine. Fold the egg yolks into the meringue.

Sift the flour and unsweetened cocoa together. Fold into the mixture.

Spread with a spatula on a nonstick silicone baking mat over a baking tray. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Set aside. Stamp out with a 3cm ring cutter.

For the chocolate mousse:

Make a sabayon by cooking the egg yolks and sugar over a bain marie until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture slightly thickens, or reaches 180°F (82°C).

Boil the milk, then set aside. Pour the sabayon into the hot milk and combine. Add both chocolates to the hot sabayon and stir gently to incorporate.

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water, then squeeze out any excess water. Add to the warm chocolate sabayon mixture. Set aside to cool.

Semi-whip the cream. Fold the whipped cream into the sabayon mixture.

In metal rings lined with thick, clear plastic, place 1 ladyfinger at the bottom of each ring. Place 1 piece of frozen cinnamon gelée in the center of each ring.

Fill in the ring with the chocolate mousse, and blast-chill immediately. When set, spray each mousse with chocolate.

For the poached kumquat and saffron syrup:

Bring all the ingredients except the saffron to a boil until the liquid is reduced and the kumquats have a shiny glaze. This will take about 1½–2 hours.

Remove the kumquats and add the saffron. Simmer for a little longer. Return the kumquats to the syrup and refrigerate.

For the caramelized almonds:

Mix all the ingredients together. Place on a nonstick silicone baking mat on a baking tray. Bake at 300°F (150°C) for approximately 20 minutes or until crispy.

Let cool to room temperature. Break into the desired size and store in an airtight container.

For the cinnamon emulsion:

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and reduce by half. Set aside to cool.

To serve, warm the emulsion and aerate with a hand blender to create a foam.

For the chocolate orange tuile:

Blanch the orange peel 3 times, until the bitterness is gone, then remove from the water.

Blend all ingredients to a smooth puree and pass through a fine sieve.

Spread into the desired shape on a nonstick silicone baking mat and bake at 200°F (100°C).

To serve:

Place a chocolate mousse in the center of each plate. Make patterns of chocolate mousse and saffron–kumquat syrup on the plate, then add 2 pieces of poached kumquat.

Top the mousse with whipped cream, caramelized almonds, cinnamon emulsion, and 1 chocolate orange tuile. Garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs.