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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Milk chocolate and salted caramel pots


You don't realise how much you rely on your oven until it stops working. 


I'm currently in that very situation. Cue shiny new oven! (With a light as well...oh yeah, get in.) You may be thinking what?! You haven't had an oven light all this time? - the answer is no, I have been deprived of such a luxury, and I've had to put up with one side which was far hotter than the other for years and had to risk my cakes sinking in the middle just so that I could dive in and turn them halfway through. Dramatic!


But hopefully that will all be solved shortly, until then all I have is the stove to work with...this is where I have to improvise. 

That's why I decided to make these milk chocolate pots, mousse-like, but so much easier and straightforward, it involves no eggs whatsoever and I thought there was something wonderfully, humble about the fact that it's milk chocolate rather than the posh darker associate. 

I actually prefer milk chocolate to something which is incredibly bitter. Children will enjoy making and eating these pots, especially finding the salted caramel layer hidden beneath  as an extra little surprise!! If you're having a party, you could make these ahead of time and simply keep them in the fridge till needs to be. 



I decided on making it look a bit kitsch as that's just me! So piped some extra cheeky whipped cream on top (as if there's not enough all ready?!) and then finished with a strawberry. If I was going all out kitsch then cherries would be the way forward...only I didn't have them so another little improvisation - you could use cherries, or even raspberries, just anything soft, sweet and sour seasonal fruit. 

Hopefully my next post will be the first bake from the new oven....

Note: 
-Don't over whip the cream for the mousse, just stop at very very soft peaks.
 
-When melting the chocolate leave aside to cool for 5 minutes. It doesn't need to be completely cold because when folding it into the cream it will instantly set if stone cold and go lumpy which we don't want. If this does happen, don't worry! Just melt a few more squares of chocolate and fold that in but please don't notoriously keep beating it,  it will still taste nice anyway. 

Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pots


Ingredients:

Serves 7-9 depending on pot size

For the mousse

270g good-quality milk chocolate
500ml double cream
50g caster sugar

For the salted caramel sauce

125g caster sugar
70ml double cream
25g unsalted butter
½ teaspoon fleur de sel (flaky sea salt - not table salt)

To serve

Strawberries, raspberries or cherries
150 - 200ml double cream, whipped
50g good quality milk chocolate (kept in the fridge)

Method


Break the chocolate for the mousse into a large, heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water, make sure that the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl and leave it to melt. Once smooth, take off the heat and put aside to cool for just around 5 minutes. No need to put it in the fridge.

Whilst the chocolate is cooling, whip the cream and sugar until you get very soft peaks. Then pour in the melted chocolate and fold very gently until just combined, don't over whisk it.

Next make the caramel sauce, place the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Put on a low-medium heat and leave to dissolve the sugar, don't stir it whatever you do but you can shake the pan. Once the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and stay with it don't leave, keep it there for 4-5 minutes or until the sugar syrup starts to turn a light pale golden straw colour, it's now done and you can take it off the heat.

The syrup will be extremely hot so be careful not to get it on your skin, quickly put the butter and cream into the pan and stir until melted. Sprinkle the salt into the caramel and stir. 

Now your ready to assemble, firstly pour about a tablespoon of the caramel sauce into the bottom of your pot, little cup, glasses or dishes and then place them in the fridge for a few minutes. Then pipe or carefully spoon the chocolate mousse into the pots. Finish with a blob of whipped cream and fruit of your choice. Place into the fridge to chill for a couple of hours before you serve it.

Just before serving scrape the chilled chocolate with a knife, peeler or grate it like I did and sprinkle some over each pot. 

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