Unfortunately when you think of Indian desserts, chocolate very rarely comes to mind. What a shame and merely adding chocolate to Indian sweets somehow doesn’t work for me and never does justice to either the chocolate or the Indian sweets. I tend to cringe when I hear words like “Chocolate Peda” or “Chocolate Ladoo”. But rest assured, I have finally struck a delicious balance. I have a wonderful recipe that is the best of both worlds and it’s relatively easy to boot. Dark chocolate works best in this recipe and pairs well with the spices. The spices in turn provide a subtle and delicate flavor that enhances the chocolate, it’s a tasty win-win for everybody.
Personally I prefer bittersweet dark chocolate for this recipe but if you have a serious sweet tooth, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate instead. If you prefer not to add any coffee or alcohol to the recipe, *simply add 2 tbsp of hot water instead.
DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE with Indian spices
5 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (melts faster & evenly)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup, heavy cream (cold)
3 large eggs, cleanly separate the yolks and the whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp of superfine sugar, to taste
2 tbsp coffee (flavored or espresso) or any flavored liquor (such as Kahlua…)*
¼ tsp freshly ground cinnamon powder
¼ tsp freshly grated cardamom powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of red chili powder (optional but delicious)
fresh berries for garnish (raspberries work well)
fresh mint sprigs for garnish
little chocolate shards for garnish
Using an electric mixer (either hand held or standing mixer), beat the heavy cream until you get soft peaks and then refrigerate immediately until needed. Now in another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they become frothy/foamy and just start to take shape. At this point, add the sugar and continue beating until you get soft peaks. Set aside until needed.
In order to melt the chocolate, I highly recommend using a double boiler. Do not use the microwave, no matter how tempting this may be. I have never had good results using the microwave for this particular recipe. If you have a double boiler, perfect! Otherwise, find a medium size pot and a heat proof mixing bowl that will sit on top of the pot. Fill the pot about ½ full of water and let it come to a very low gentle simmer. The hot water should not directly touch the bowl; rather the steam from the simmering water will gently melt the chocolate. Please check this before hand or you will simply have to remove some of the hot water (a ladle works well for this task).
To the mixing bowl, add the chocolate pieces and set atop the pot with the very low gentle simmering water. Gently whisk until the chocolate begins to melt and slowly start adding the cubes of butter a few at a time until they are all incorporated. Now add the coffee (or liquor or hot water) along with the vanilla extract and the spices (ground cinnamon powder, ground cardamom powder, freshly grated nutmeg & red chili powder). When all the ingredients have been well incorporated and melted together, remove from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool slightly. The chocolate should always be very warm but never hot. Now carefully stir in the egg yolks & mix well to combine. Now, gently fold in about half of the cold whipped cream and then fold in about half the whites. Do this carefully and gently, now add the remaining whipped cream and rest of the egg whites until just incorporated. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8-10 hours (overnight is best). Serve in individual bowls garnished with fresh berries, a sprig of fresh mint and chocolate shards.
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