Melting Chocolate Spheres With Raspberry Mousse On Peanut Soil

I’ve wanted to attempt this dessert for a long time.  I’ve got lots of different versions of this in my head to try but I started with this one as I thought it was probably the simplest! There are a lot of stages to this dessert but if you break it down to it’s component parts then you can get ahead.  The effort is well worth it.  The effect of the hot chocolate sauce melting through the chocolate dome is guaranteed to raise delight on anyones face. 🙂

Ingredients:

Chocolate Spheres
– 200g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

Raspberry Mousse
– 250g Raspberries
– 25g Icing sugar
– 1 x Gelatine leaf (soaked in cold water)
– 90ml Double cream
– 1/4 tsp Lemon zest
– 1 tbsp Caster sugar

Peanut Soil
– 200g Unsalted peanuts
– 200g Caster sugar

Chocolate Sauce
– 100g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
– 200ml Double cream
– 2 tbsp Caster sugar
– 25ml Amaretto (optional)

Special equipment:
Polycarbonate chocolate sphere mould (7.5cm diameter)
Food processor
Hand blender
Piping bag

Makes – 6 Spheres

Method:

Step 1 – The spheres
Break up the chocolate and place in a large microwaveable bowl. Melt the chocolate in 20 second bursts, stirring between each burst. Take it slowly to avoid the chocolate burning. When the chocolate has just about melted but there are still a few lumps, remove and stir until fully melted. Pout the chocolate into the moulds so it is about 3/4 of the way up each mould and you have an even amount of chocolate in each mould. Swirl the chocolate around in the mould to coat the sides. Leave for a few minutes and then swirl again. Repeat 3 or four times. Turn the mould upside down on a piece of baking parchment to tip out the chocolate and leave upside down for 10 minutes. After 10 mins place the moulds in the freezer the correct way up.

Step 2 – The soil
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Place the peanuts in a frying pan over a medium heat and toast. Once toasted, tip the peanuts onto the lined tray. Place the sugar in a clean heavy bottomed pan and place on a medium heat. Slowly melt the sugar to make a dry caramel. Don’t rush this or stir the sugar as you will end up with a big crystallised mess. When the caramel is a light golden colour, pour it over the peanuts and leave to set. Once set, break up the peanut brittle and place in a food processor. Blitz to a powder and set aside until needed.

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Step 3 – The mousse
Reserve 12 raspberries and set aside. Place the remaining raspberries in a pan with the icing sugar and gently heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Squeeze out the soaked gelatine, add to the pan and stir to dissolve Blend using a hand blender until smooth and then pass through a sieve to remove any pips and then leave to cool. In a large bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks and then fold in the raspberry sauce. Place the mousse into a piping bag and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Step 4 – The sauce
Place all the ingredients for the chocolate sauce onto a pan and gently heat through until combined and smooth. Leave on a very low heat to keep warm.

Step 5 – The build
Remove the chocolate mould(s) from the freezer and gently tap out the half spheres. They should release easily. On each service plate, place a heap of the peanut soil in the centre. Place half a sphere on top of the soil and gently push it down so it is nestled in the soil. Pipe some of the mousse into each of the bottom spheres and then place 2 raspberries on top of the mousse in each sphere. Carefully take the top half spheres and dip the edges into the chocolate sauce. Place the top half onto the bottom ones to form a sealed chocolate sphere. You need to work quickly here to avoid the top half melting when you handle it. Run your hands under cold water before you start to help.

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Step 6 – The pour
Place the warm chocolate sauce into a jug. Pour the warm sauce over each sphere and enjoy the show!

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