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Chocolate Mousse with Beetroot Marshmallow

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Of all the desserts I’ve had in my life, I’ve been most fascinated by the ones that somehow manage to pack every nuance of flavour and texture while remaining light as a feather. This delectable charmer challenges our idea of what constitutes a dessert (just when we thought beetroot had no more surprises left up its sleeve), but is just so satisfying you’d want to make it every time your gathering needs a wow moment. And to really get your guests talking, pair it with a beautiful Merlot.

Chocolate Mousse with Beetroot Marshmallow

Prep time: 1 hour, plus overnight refrigeration | Cooking time: 4 hours | Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

for the beetroot marshmallow

180 ml beetroot juice

175 g castor sugar

10 ml liquid glucose

90 g egg whites

90 g castor sugar

6 sheets gelatine

for the chocolate mousse

 113 g butter, cubed

225 g chocolate, chopped 

4 ½ egg yolks 

6 egg whites 

2,5 ml vanilla paste

for the meringue shards

90 g egg whites

180 g castor sugar

for the chocolate tuile

 100 g egg whites

100 g castor sugar

100g butter, salted, melted

60 g cake flour

40 g cocoa powder

for the chocolate soil

180 g water

480 g castor sugar 

220 g dark chocolate, chopped

for the beetroot gel

300 ml beetroot juice

3 g agar agar

for the garnish

2 medium beetroot, whole

METHOD

for the beetroot marshmallow

Bloom the gelatine sheets in a flat tray with ice water. Place the beetroot juice, castor sugar (175 g) and liquid glucose into a medium pot and cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 106 °C. Once this temperature is reached, start whisking the egg whites on high speed in a stand mixer. Slowly add the castor sugar until the meringue is glossy and has medium peaks. Once the sugar syrup has reached 112 °C, add the gelatine (wringed out from excess water) and remove from the heat.

Whisk the sugar syrup into the meringue on high speed by pouring in the sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream. Continue whisking until the marshmallow is cooled down. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip. Pipe the marshmallows in different-sized droplets onto a non-stick silicone baking sheet and allow to set.

for the chocolate mousse

Over a double boiler, over medium heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Do not allow the mixture to curdle, and add vanilla. With a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold your egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

for the meringue shards

Pre-heat the oven to 70 °C. Over a medium heat in a double boiler, whisk the eggs and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. On a high speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff and glossy. Smear out onto a greaseproof paper and leave in the oven to dry out for 2 hours.

for the chocolate tuile

Start whipping the egg whites until stiff. Slowly add the sugar one spoon at a time while whisking. Once fully incorporated, in a steady stream, start pouring in the melted butter. By hand, fold in the sifted flour and cocoa powder. Allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. On a silpat mat, spread the tuile mixture out evenly and about 1 mm thick. Bake the mixture for 1 minute, remove the tray from the oven and use a leaf cutter to quickly cut out the tuile. Place the tuile over a rolling pin to add shape.

for the chocolate soil

In a large pot, slowly melt the water and sugar together. Once the sugar starts to gain a bit of colour, at 135 ֯ C, remove the pot from the heat and vigorously whisk in your chocolate, making sure to really mix it well. It will form a crunchy gravel eventually. Spread out onto a tray to allow it to cool down.

for the beetroot gel

Whisk the beetroot juice and agar agar together. Allow to stand for 4 minutes. Over a medium heat, allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes. Place into a tray and allow to cool down and set in the tray. Blend the gel and then pass through a sieve. Place the gel into a piping bag.

for the garnish

Thinly slice the beetroot into disks using a mandolin. Use a small (2 cm) cookie cutter to cut out small disks. Use some of the thinly sliced beetroot to create cones by making a small cut from the centre of the beetroot slice to the edge. Roll up to for cones.

DE GRENDEL MERLOT 2020

This Merlot has a beautiful gem-like ruby colour with garnet flashing around the edges. At first, it reveals a delicate assortment of berries – red, black and blue – followed by the alluring aroma of aniseed, cedar and liquorice which are all carried through on the palate.

Rather than dominate, the French oak adds support, while the structure comes from the tannins, as do the light mocha flavours. The texture is smooth and well-rounded, lingering a while to remind you of its balance and elegance.

While this Merlot pairs perfectly with roast lamb, its full-bodied character makes for a beautiful pairing with a good quality chocolate dessert that is not too sweet. The added accents of earthy beetroot – another great Merlot pairing – makes this particular dessert the ideal Merlot companion.

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