Three words: indulge, indulge, indulge.
- For the Chocolate Mousse:
- 225g (8oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares (minimum 55% cocoa solids)
- 3 eggs
- 2 tblsp Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
- 300ml (1/2 pint) cream
- For the Brownie:
- 400g plain chocolate, finely chopped (at least 55% cocoa solids)
- 225g (8oz) butter
- 4 eggs
- 275g (10oz) caster sugar
- 100g (4oz) self-raising flour
- 75g (3oz) cocoa powder
- 100g (4oz) toasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped
- For the Chocolate Fudge Sauce:
- 350ml (12oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares
- 400ml (14fl oz) cream
- 75g (3oz) caster sugar
- 50g (2oz) unsalted butter
- To Serve:
- 6 readymade chocolate spheres (7cm in diameter and available from specialist suppliers like bd foods)
- About 2 tbsp white chocolate powder (again available from specialist suppliers like bd foods)
- 175g (6oz) mini 'maltesers'
- To make the mousse, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the eggs with the Baileys in a separate bowl over a pan of simmering water until double in size. It is very important to ensure the water does not boil or it will cook the eggs.
- Fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, then leave to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the cream in a bowl and then fold into the chocolate mousse. Transfer to a small shallow bowl to set in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight is best.
- To make the brownie, preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF), Gas 3. Place 100g (4oz) of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the butter and set over a pan of simmering water until melted; then stir to combine. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl until stiff and holding their shape, then whisk in the sugar until you have achieved a stiff sabayon that can hold a trail of the figure eight. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the sabayon and lightly fold in. Add the melted chocolate mixture with the remaining finely chopped chocolate and the pecan nuts, and continue folding gently until all the ingredients are just combined.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into a deep-sided baking tin that is about 30 x 20cm (12 x 8in), lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is crusty but the centre is still a little soft. Once cool, stamp out 12 x 6cm discs using a round straight-sided cutter. Put the trimmings in a bowl and gently break into crumbs with your fingers. Set aside until needed.
- To make chocolate fudge sauce, melt the chocolate very gently in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Set aside. Place the cream in a separate pan with the caster sugar and butter. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove the cream mixture from heat and leave to cool down a little, then whisk in the melted chocolate until you have achieved a smooth sauce. Pour into a jug and cover with clingfilm. This sauce keeps very well in the fridge and can be warmed gently when needed.
- To serve, dot tiny spoonfuls of the chocolate mousse in the bottom each serving bowl. Stick one half of the chocolate sphere round side down onto it to stick and place a brownie stick inside. Add a teaspoon of white chocolate powder and then a sprinkling of the brownie crumbs. Add a quenelle of the chocolate mousse and sprinkle over the mini 'malteesers'. To stick the other half of the chocolate sphere on top, first place it flat side down into a dry heated frying pan for a couple of seconds to just melt. Place this side down on top to stick the sides of the other half of sphere and to enclose the filling. Heat the chocolate fudge sauce in a small pan or in the microwave and put in a serving jug. Pour over at the table in front of your guests so that the sphere melts before their eyes and reveals the inside.
More by Neven Maguire:
- Neven's Flourless Orange and Almond Cake
- Today: Neven's Chicken Risotto for Weaning
- Neven's Food Trails: Buffalo Chicken Wings