A quick vegan dessert from Luke Robinson
This is a brilliantly quick dessert to prepare for a vegan or non-dairy eater. The idea of creating a chantilly out of water and chocolate comes from the French chef Hervé and works very well. I choose to serve the mousse with fruit, olive oil, salt and nuts, because I like the balance of flavour you get: sweet, sharp, savoury and nutty all at once.
For the chantilly:
260g dark chocolate
For the candied nuts:
100g caster sugar
For the chocolate crumb:
112g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
For the exotic fruit:
1 small mango, peeled and diced
1 banana, peeled and sliced
Juice and seeds of 1 large passion fruit
A small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
To make the mousse, boil the water and pour it over the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Place over a bowl of cold water and whisk until the chocolate thickens like double cream. Take off the cold water and continue whisking, more slowly now, until you get a mousse-like texture (if the chocolate seizes and becomes grainy, add a tiny splash of hot water and whisk until the mousse consistency is reached again). Set aside at room temperature.
To candy the nuts, heat the sugar and hazelnuts in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring continuously. Continue until caramelised, removing the pan from the heat from time to time if it’s getting too hot. Once golden, pour the nuts onto a sheet of baking paper, separating them as much as possible. Allow to cool.
For the chocolate crumb, boil the water and sugar in a pan till you reach 130C. It is best to use a sugar thermometer but if you don’t have one, you will be able to tell that the temperature has been reached once you see intense groups of bubbles forming. At this point, add the chocolate in and whisk off the heat until you get a crumble-like texture resembling soil.
Dress the mango and banana in the passion fruit juice and seeds.
Plate 2 spoonfuls of the chocolate crumb onto a plate and add a quenelle of chocolate mousse. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil on the mousse, add a small pinch of sea salt then spoon over a bit of fruit and a scattering of hazelnuts. Serve.
Recipe: Luke Robinson