- Serves: 4
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Prep Time: plus 3 hrs 30 mins chilling
- Effort: medium
- 120 g 56% cocoa solids dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 5 eggs, separated, 5 whites and 2 yolks reserved
- 80 g caster sugar
For the chocolate leaves:
- 60 g butter, softened
- 75 g icing sugar
- 20 g cocoa powder
- 2 eggs, whites reserved
- 40 g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
For the chocolate sauce:
- 250 ml water
- 50 ml liquid glucose
- 100 g caster sugar
- 75 g cocoa powder
- 100 g 56% cocoa solids dark chocolate, grated
- 52 chestnuts, cooked and peeled
1. First make the mousse. Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the caster sugar, whisking until firm and shiny.
3. Stir the egg yolks into the warm melted chocolate.
4. Briskly whisk one-third of the whisked egg whites into the melted chocolate then gently fold in the remaining whisked egg white. Cover the mousse and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours until set.
5. To make the chocolate leaves, preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas 3. First make a template cutting out the shape of a leaf (ideally a chestnut leaf) from a thick sheet of plastic.
6. Mix together the softened butter, icing sugar and cocoa in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the egg white, mixing well. Sift in the flour and salt. Mix well then cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
7. Spread the chilled chocolate mixture through your leaf template onto a non-stick baking sheet making about 8 shapes.
8. Bake the chocolate leaves in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes. Remove and cool before using.
9. While the leaves are baking make the chocolate sauce. In a saucepan bring the water to the boil with the glucose, sugar and cocoa, then cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes.
10. Add the grated chocolate. Stir until it melts completely. Add the chestnuts and toss until thoroughly coated. Set aside.
11. Spoon the chocolate sauce onto 4 serving plates. Layer the chocolate leaves with the mousse and half the chocolate-coated chestnuts. Place the filled chocolate leaves on the sauce. Decorate with the remaining chocolate-coated chestnuts. Serve.
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