Not too long ago, actually it could be sometime in May, so that makes it quite some time ago, I made this dessert for a couple of friends that came over for tea and good conversation. Lynn brought along a lovely salad while the delectable Ms Kong Piang brought along a team smoked trout that was rather delicious. She also mentioned that she hadn't had a nice dessert in a while and that all the stuff she had been 'forced' to eat was really not worth her time. Ms Kong Piang often repeats that same story to me just to get me to make her desserts. *Yawn*
So anyway, not wanting to disappoint neither Ms Kong Piang nor Lynn, I decided I was going to make something different. Something chocolatey yet fruity. The Lovely Wife kept bugging me as to what I was going to make but I hushed her up. Very politely too!
In my mind, I wanted a chocolate cake with a pear mousse on top. I surfed the web for a Pear Mousse recipe and found this recipe from cdkitchen.com reproduced below.
For the cake, I decided on using my Baked Chocolate Mousse as I wanted a nicer soft texture.
While I was baking the mousse, I decided to make a cinnamon sauce to complement the pear mousse.
3 large pears
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup Whipping cream
Peel and core pears and chop coarsely. Place pears in pot with sugar and butter and lemon juice and cook and stir over low heat 15 to 20 minutes.
Let cool slightly and place in blender and puree smooth. Add the brandy and mix well. Cool completely.
Whip heavy cream and blend into cooled pear mixture. Chill well for several hours.
BAKED CHOC MOUSSE CAKE
200g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
200g Caster Sugar
300 ml Thickenend Cream
3 Tbsps Corn Flour
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and let cool. Meanwhile, beat eggs with sugar till nice and foamy. Add in the melted chocolate and continue beating till nicely incorporated. In a separate bowl, whip cream to soft peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture and then add in sifted corn flour. Mix well to incorporate. Pour into a 9" round pan and place in a water bath. Bake in 180C oven for about 30 minutes.
Caramel Cinnamon Sauce
5 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbs Water
1 Tbsp Butter
about 1/2 cup cream or milk
2 - 3 tsps Cinnamon powder (to your taste)
Melting the sugar and water and allow to cook without stirring till the sugar turns amber. Turn add in the butter and stir quickly. Mixture may sputter. Reduce heat and allow to cool slightly before adding in the milk/cream. Return to heat and whisk until everything combines and mixture is nice and thick. Add in the cinnamon powder to taste.
Before serving, I dusted the top of the pear mousse with some cinnamon powder for those that didnt want to eat it with the caramel cinnamon sauce. The cinnamon really did make a difference and seemed to bring out the flavour of the pears.
The pear mousse turned out really nicely although if I make this again, I would let the pears mixture thicken some more as the mousse took a long, long time to set. In fact, even after being in the freezer overnight, the mousse melted very quickly. However the next day, the mousse had set up very, very nicely as you can see above.
The mousse was great as a dessert on its own too - especially with the caramel cinnamon sauce! Ms Kong Piang remarked that it would make a very good ice cream.
The combination of the pear mousse and the baked choc mousse was rather sublime and very interesting. The fruitiness of the pears combined really well with the chocolate and one slice was definitely not enough. This is the kind of dessert that you can just eat and eat... and that's exactly what we did!