Wild Hibiscus Chocolate Mousse
Flowers wilt, jewelry tarnishes, and candles burn out…but chocolate doesn’t hang around long enough to get old. ~ Sr. Cocoa Loca
Who doesn’t love decadent, dark, and rich chocolate desserts or truffles? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like chocolate. Have you? And when there is a special dessert made with chocolate in our house, it definitely doesn’t last long. We love most anything made with a really good chocolate and a nightly ritual for us is to have a small piece of dark chocolate after dinner, preferably with sea salt and almonds.
A touch of salt with dark chocolate is perfect; it really enhances the flavor. So, when I recently received a gift package from my friends at Wild Hibiscus Flower Company, I was excited to see their new product, Wild Hibiscus Flower Pyramid Salt Flakes, and immediately knew what I was going to pair it with; dark chocolate.
This beautiful gourmet salt is a blend of dried Hibiscus flowers and Australian Pyramid salt flakes. If you are not familiar with the Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, they are a gourmet food product from Australia, are quite unique, and the flowers are especially pretty in cocktails. Did you know that Hibiscus flowers are a super antioxidant? Combine them with dark chocolate (which has similar health benefits) and dessert suddenly becomes very good for you. 😉
I decided to carry the Wild Hibiscus flavor throughout the dessert and made a luscious and creamy chocolate mousse using the syrup from the Wild Hibiscus Flowers as the complementary flavor to the two types of dark chocolate. Fragrant and slightly sweet, the syrup is wonderful in both sweet and savory dishes. A touch of Armagnac, which is a French brandy made in the Armagnac region in France, added a wonderful subtle liquor flavor to the mousse. Armagnac is also known for its healing properties, so this dessert is getting better for you all the time. And after all, who doesn’t love a boozy chocolate dessert?
BTW, once you’ve used some of the syrup from the jar, open a nice bottle of Champagne and add the Hibiscus flowers and a little syrup to your glass to make a festive beverage. Champagne and chocolate…what a perfect combination!
I had forgotten how much I adore chocolate mousse. A very French dessert, it is one I used to make often. This recipe uses a traditional method of preparation and is made with egg yolks, butter, and whipped egg whites. Perfect for a special evening (think Valentine’s Day), this dessert will win its way into anyone’s heart.
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Inspired by a recipe from Ina Garten, this chocolate mousse is truly decadent. Rich and creamy, it combines the perfect match of sweet and fragrant flavor from the Wild Hibiscus syrup along with a hint of Armagnac. This recipe can easily be doubled and rather than chill in individual serving dishes, you can place the mousse in one large bowl, refrigerate, and serve from the bowl. The original recipe added whipped cream, but I prefer the more traditional version which is made with just the yolks, butter, and beaten eggs whites, which are gently folded into the chocolate mixture to give it the perfect texture.
3 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Scharffen Berger)
2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona)
2 Tablespoons Wild Hibiscus syrup (from a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup)
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons Armagnac
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, separated (you will only need 1/2 cups of egg whites)
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
Pinch kosher salt
Whipped Cream, for garnish (made with heavy cream, a little sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract)
Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes, for garnish
Combine the 2 chocolates, Wild Hibiscus syrup, and water in a heat-proof bowl. Set it over a pan of simmering water just until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Cool completely to room temperature. Whisk in the Armagnac and butter until combined.
Place the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use a hand mixer. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick and pale yellow. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a larger bowl.
Place 1/2 cup of egg whites (save or discard the rest), the salt, and 1 Tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until firm but not dry. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula, making sure that the mixture is completely blended.
Spoon the mixture into individual serving dishes or a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving.
Serve garnished with whipped cream and sprinkle lightly with Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes.