Dark chocolate mousse, caramelised banana, miso, and peanuts

This chocolate dessert is quite rich but not too heavy for a tasting menu. It consists of a chocolate emulsion, set in a mould, with a chocolate and wafer base and has a banana caramel, peanut brittle, and miso ice cream. There are a variety of contrasts in texture, flavour and temperature which range from a warm sweet sticky caramel with a banana liquor, to the frozen, slightly salty flavour of the miso ice cream and the crispy wafer base on which the chocolate sits.

Ingredients - serves 6:

  • Chopped Peanuts for garnish 
  • Extra chocolate or chocolate shavings for garnish

For the chocolate:

  • 120g dark chocolates (I use 70%)
  • 10g butter
  • 10g water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30g sugar
  • 80ml quality rapeseed oil
  • 2 egg whites

For the caramel:

  • 2 bananas
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 100ml double cream
  • 35ml whiskey or banana liquor (optional)

For the Wafer base:

  • 120g white chocolates
  • 80g puff pastry

For the Miso ice cream: – (another flavour can be used if an ice-cream machine is unavailable)

  • 80ml milk
  • 30ml cream
  • 30g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 20g miso paste

Method:

For the chocolate emulsion:

Place the chocolate and the butter in a bowl over a pot of water on the stove and start to melt with a medium heat. Ensure the hot water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolk until creamed and then, while whisking, start to slowly add the water followed by the oil, slowly so the oil emulsifies with the sugar and egg mix. 

When the chocolate has melted and slightly cooled, whisk in the egg whites and then start to fold in the egg and oil mix.

Transfer this to small individual moulds and place in the fridge.

For the banana caramel:

In a heavy pan add a dash of water followed by the sugar and begin to caramelise, once the caramel achieves an even dark golden colour (dark but not black), add the butter, and carefully stir in. At this point add the bananas and once the bananas have cooked add the cream. Continue to cook this for a few minutes until the caramel becomes slightly thicker then transfer the mix into a food processor and blend to a fine smooth caramel, adding the liquor at the end.

For the wafer base:

Take the sheet of puff pastry, place it on a tray and bake at around 160oc in the oven until crisp, allow to cool. 

While the pastry is cooling melt the white chocolate, finely chop the puff pastry, and fold it into the white chocolate, pour the mix out onto a piece of greaseproof paper then place another sheet of paper on top, using a rolling pin, roll the mix out until it’s about 4mm thick, place on a tray and allow to firm up in the fridge.

Once cool use a circular pastry cutter to cut discs of the wafer mix, any remaining trim can be melted again and the process repeated.

Set the discs aside.

For the ice cream:

In a saucepan, begin to caramelise the sugar until it is golden, remove from the heat and very carefully fold in the miso paste, followed by the milk and cream. Stir in the egg yolks and return to the stove and, while stirring until the mix is just starting to simmer, (around 85oc). Place the mixture in an ice cream maker at this point.

To assemble the dish:

On a cold plate, place a spoonful of the warm banana caramel followed by a disc of the wafer and white chocolate base on top, remove the set dark chocolate mix from the mould and set on top followed by another spoonful of the caramel and some of the peanuts.

Place a scoop of the ice-cream on top and finish with some of the grated chocolate or chocolate shavings.

Woodstock Old Fortified Tawny Style McLaren Vale, Australia

The McLaren Vale wine region, in the north-west of South of Australia, is located approximately 35 kilometres (22 miles) south of Adelaide. It is by far the most important wine-producing throughout Australia. 

Winemaking 

The fermenting juice of ripe Grenache and Shiraz have drained off their skins when about half of the natural sugars have been fermented by yeast creating about 8% alcohol. Enough pure grape spirit is then added (“Fortifying” the wine) to an alcohol level of 18.5%.

Aging this in small old barrels oxidises the colours and grape flavours and concentrates the sugars, acids and rancio flavours, making a luscious style. The alcohol content rises some more during this process and finishes at about 19%.

The Wine

Medium amber in colour with aromas of caramel, figs and hints of cinnamon. Intense, luscious flavours with a persistent nutty caramel aftertaste. Fine spirit characters balance the sweetness producing an elegant and lengthy finish. A fine, fruity yet soft “Tawny Port” style made by Scott Collett.

Perfect food pairing with dark chocolate. 

 

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