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Merry midwinter: Chocolate hazelnut mousse 

The thickest chocolate mousse, with a fine layer of crisp chocolate and praline on top. The trick is not to let the mixture get too hot and to fold the egg yolks in quickly but lightly.


250g dark chocolate

40g butter

3 tablespoons hot espresso

5 eggs, separated


50g hazelnuts

75g caster sugar


100g dark chocolate

  • Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a small bowl balanced over a pan of simmering water. When it has melted, add the butter and stir, very lightly, to mix. Pour in the espresso.
  • Separate the eggs and beat the whites until they are almost stiff. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat, then fold in the egg yolks. Work quickly, stirring gently and firmly. Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture, making sure there are no lumps of unincorporated egg white.
  • Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl approximately 20cm-22cm in diameter, or into four small dishes. Place in the fridge, covered with clingfilm, for at least four hours, to set.
  • Meanwhile make the praline. Toast the nuts in a shallow pan until golden. Scatter over the sugar in a single layer and leave to melt. When the caramel is golden, pour on to a baking sheet and leave to cool. Break into pieces and process to coarse crumbs.
  • When the mousse is set, break the remaining 100g chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Scrape it out of the bowl with a rubber spatula, smoothing it over the surface of the cold, set chocolate mousse. Scatter with the hazelnut praline and return to the fridge until the chocolate has set.