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Black Forest Mousse

Serves 4

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For the chocolate mousse
170g of Cru Virunga chocolate (or good quality 65% dark chocolate ), broken into small pieces (keep a littke extra aside to shave for garnish)
30g good quality 65% dark chocolate, chopped
90g unsalted butter
6 free range eggs, separated

Melt the butter and 170g of chocolate pieces together over a Bain Marie, stirring occasionally This should take no more than 5 minutes. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the egg yolk.

In another bowl or food processor, whisk the egg whites until a soft peak is achieved, then fold into the chocolate mixture using a spatula. Lastly, add the chopped pieces of chocolate to give the mousse some texture and mix well.

For the cherry compote
150g black cherries, stoned
50g caster sugar
30ml water
30ml Kirsch

Put the cherries, water, Kirsch and caster sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the cherries are soft and the sauce has thickened and has the consistency of syrup.

For the sponge
120ml buttermilk
1 free range egg
60ml sunflower oil
120ml hot water
140g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
30ml Kirsch (optional/to soak the sponge)

Pre-heat the oven to180ºC / gas mark 4.

Line a baking tray with silicone paper. In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg, sunflower oil, water and sugar together until the mixture is smooth, then add the sieved flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix well. Spread the mixture onto the silicone lined tray and bake for approximately 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

To assemble

Have 4 ramekins (or stainless steel metal rings ready).

Cut the sponge around the ramekin and place at the bottom of each. You can douse the sponge with the Kirsch for an extra kick). Spoon in the chocolate mousse to the top of each ramekin and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up. When you are ready to serve, decorate with chocolate shavings and drizzle the cherry compote on top.

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