Tag Archives: mousse

O’Gourmet Food Hall Chili Chocolate Mousse

3 Apr

Chili and chocolate is a wicked, wanton pairing. Chocolate is deep and dark; spicy notes with a bass pounding beat. Chili is bright and spicy – a spark of fire like the river of sound from a sharp sexy saxophone. Together, they play off each other and intensify their own qualities to create an extraordinarily beautiful fusion.

This mousse was created as the last dish in a Spanish red wine tasting at O’Gourmet Food Hall. It was paired with a Humiliat 2008 – a red that is complex, with a depth of flavour and contrast. The pairing of chili and chocolate brought out the various notes in the red wine, and deepened its complexity even further.

Do note that I used organic eggs for this recipe – and this is crucial because the egg white is not cooked. If you have concerns, use pasturised eggs if possible. And do balance the amount of chili to suit your taste. I used Kashmiri chili from O’Gourmet – which is full of fire, and yet smooth and gorgeous. The thing I love about this chili is that in sweet dishes (I used it in a vanilla ice cream before as well), it really allows for stages of flavour – the first hit you get is chocolate, and then suddenly, fire. Its very more-ish, and brings about a flush of passion in those who consume it.

This is not a diet dessert by any standards – chocolate, lashings of cream, butter and eggs. Its rich, but the chili somehow adds a fresh, wild note. And as laden as it is with calories, it uses very simple ingredients – and if you make sure they are top quality, the taste will be sublime. You also cant have huge bowlfuls of this dessert – it is best served as a delightful, delectable taste, may be with a dark cup of coffee.

Do please note that I made this mousse to feed about 20 – 30 people (albeit in tiny little cups). You could probably feed 8 – 10 people with leftovers. Make in little individual serving pots, or one large, luscious bowlful – its up to you. But do make sure you add the whipped cream on top (and a few chocolate shavings or nuggets) – its all about the contrast and layers of flavour.

Makes about 4 – 5 cups

  • 10 ounces best quality bittersweet chocolate (at least 72%) broken into chunks
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 + 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3 + 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 + 1 cups cream
  • 2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • Chocolate chunks or curls to decorate

Fill a saucepan with boiling water, and place a small metal bowl on top. Melt the chocolate in the small bowl, and add the butter. When the butter is melted, whisk in the egg yolks (they will stiffen the mixture), salt, and vanilla. Stir well, and take off the heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and set aside.

Whip the egg whites, adding 3 tbsp of light brown sugar, until the egg whites are very stiff, and hold high peaks. Fold about 1/3rd of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold the rest in. Cover the bowl, and place in the fridge.

Whip 2 cups of cream until stiff, and then remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge. Fold the cream in gently. Sprinkle the chili over the mousse in 1/2 tsp portions, and fold until completely incorporated. Taste and keep adding until to your taste. I like it hot!


Chill the mousse for at least half an hour. If you are serving it in individual portions, spoon or pipe into cups. If you are serving in a large bowl, spoon into the bowl and cover.


Whip  the remaining 1 cup of cream, 2 tbsp vanilla extract and 3 tbsp light brown sugar together and pipe or spoon over the prepared and chilled mousse. Decorate with chocolate and cool in the fridge for 2 hours minimum, or up to 24.

Serve with joy!

Wine Tasting + Tapas at O’Gourmet Food Hall

25 Feb

Last night was really exciting in my adventures as a cook. M. Sebastien had been after me for some time to create some food pairings for his monthly wine tastings at O’Gourmet Food Hall. It was a tasting of Spanish reds … and M. Sebastien was intrigued by the notion that vegetarian food could be paired well with such bold strong wines. When people think of red wine, they almost immediately think of red meats – robust, dark and complex flavours.

M. Sebastien challenged me to think up a menu that would complement his red wines which steadily built in terms of taste and complexity. We went through the list together, and he told me the spices, notes, flavours and depth of each wine. I came up with a food pairing that I felt would match and bring out the unique attributes of the wine. Together, we refined the flavours, and discussed the cheese I would cook with (three of the courses had cheese in the recipe).

In my life as a cook, this was a daunting, and yet ultimately satisfying project. I had 24 hours to cook for 20 people, I helped to serve all the courses, and enjoyed the positive feedback and interaction. I never would have imagined I could do something like this a mere six months ago, but I have been stretched to challenge myself – by good friends and loved ones – and it has paid off.

I will post the recipes for all five courses in the coming few days, but I thought you might like to take a glance at the menu from last night.

O’Gourmet does wine tastings every month. Please contact them here to be put on the mailing list for further events. Who knows, I might be cooking again!

Santonegro Syrah 2008 – A light wine, simple and fresh.

Paired with tapenade on crusty french bread toasts. I brushed the sliced french bread with a mixture of Maldon salt, garlic and organic olive oil and baked it in the oven. The tapenade was a gorgeous mixture of black olives, green olives, organic olive oil, caper berries, a touch of garlic, and grated lemon peel. The lemon peel elevated the flavour and made the tapenade sparkle.

Tapenade on crusty french bread

Gotes 2009 – interesting palette, contrasting flavours.

Paired with red peppers and goat’s cheese feta with smoked paprika. The red peppers were marinated overnight in herbs, garlic, olive oil and a touch of old balsamic. They were then enriched by the deep dark notes of smoked paprika.

Peppers with Feta and Smoked Paprika

Luberri 2009 – a unique open taste – people have strong opinions about this wine as it stands up to you.

Paired with Turkish figs poached in red wine and baked with fourme d’ambert. These gorgeous dried figs were poached until they were velvety and succulent, split open and baked with a beautiful french blue cheese. The taste was a fascinating melding of sweet and salty, sticky and sensuous.

Wine Poached Figs baked with Fourme D'Ambert blue


QV Crianza 2005 – a fantastic wine, organic, deeply lush and beautiful.

Paired with a caramelised garlic and raclette tart baked with a light custard. The caramelised onions were cooked for four and half hours, in a bottle of the QV Crianza, until they were dark and sticky, almost an onion jam. They were then baked in a butter puff pastry shell, with a light kiss of savoury custard and some smooth raclette to finish.

Caramelised Wine Onion Tarts with Raclette

Humiliat 2008 – a wine that starts out closed, but opens up into complex and deep flavours.

Paired with a chili chocolate mousse with vanilla whipped cream. The chocolate mousse was made with pure bittersweet chocolate, and I made sure not to add too much sugar. However, the whipped cream gave it balance, adding sweetness and creaminess to the final taste. The chili brought everything alive, and added fire and passion.

Chili Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream