One day I’ll go back to coming up with recipes that don’t have a short essay as a title. Today is not that day.
Again I’ve gone with the mousse combined with a pudding made from infused milk, but I’ve added fruit in as well this time. The mousse is made with dark chocolate and brandy; I would have used Poire William pear brandy, but guess what? I don’t have any. The pear purée is something I’d eat by the bowlful on its own – a tiny bit of brandy, a tiny bit of vanilla paste, a quick stab with the stick blender and it’s kind of amazing. Totally gestalt. And the pudding is a milk pudding made from milk that I infused with a pear tart, using the same method I tried out here. It worked reasonably well, with the flavour of the pastry coming through subtly in the final pudding. Recipes after the cut.
Chocolate brandy mousse
This recipe, again. Just substitute dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa solids) for the white chocolate and substitute brandy for the kirsch. When you’ve finished folding the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, half-fill individual serving cups (about 10 of them) with the mousse and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Vanilla pear purée
410g tin of pears
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1/4 of a vanilla pod, split)
1 tsp powdered xanthan gum (or cornflour)
Put the pears, juice from the tin included, into a small saucepan. Add the sugar, brandy and vanilla and bring almost to the boil. Simmer for about half an hour to reduce the liquid down to more of a syrup and to soften the fruit. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for half an hour. Add the xanthan gum (or cornflour) and blend to a purée. Add a tablespoon or two of this purée to the top of each of the mousses, then place them back in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Pear tart milk pudding
1 small pear tart (like a 15cm diameter; make your own or just buy one from a pâtisserie like I did)
30g rice flour
40g caster sugar
Break the tart into a few pieces and place it in a muslin bag. Tie the end of the bag firmly. Put it in a slow cooker and pour the milk over the top and leave to cook (well, infuse) on a low temperature setting (should be around 70°C) for 6 to 8 hours. Turn the slow cooker off and leave the liquid to cool to room temperature. Squeeze the bag and its contents to reclaim the milk they will have absorbed and discard the tart pieces.
Put the cornflour, rice flour and sugar in a bowl and stir to mix. Add enough of the pear tart milk to this to make it into a paste and whisk to make sure all the lumps are dissolved.
Place remaining milk in a pan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. While whisking continuously, add the cornflour paste and keep whisking for a few minutes until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat. Spoon mixture on top of the pear purée and mousse in the serving containers. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, then dust with cocoa powder and serve