I’m not a fan of smoky chocolate. This may come as a surprise to some, since I’m from Texas, land of smoked everything. But that savory taste you get in a lot of cacao from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and so on? Not for me.
But it can really work in recipes. The smoky undertones of the PNG brownie in Dandelion’s brownie flightblew me away when I tried it, and I haven’t quite recovered.
Recently Evan LeRoy, the pitmaster at Freedmen’s Barbecue in Austin (my favorite spot), sent me a recipe for a smoked chocolate mousse where he actually SMOKED the chocolate. Like, ON A GRILL. He kind of reverse-engineered the drying process that they use in Papua New Guinea. I thought, well, why not just use PNG chocolate in it? So without further ado, here’s the recipe:
Smoky Chocolate Mousse
8 ounces smoky chocolate (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Java), chopped
1 C + ¾ C heavy cream, separated
4oz powdered sugar
Smoked salt, optional
1. Whip 1 C heavy cream with 4oz powdered sugar, and 1oz bourbon to stiff peaks. Simultaneously heat 3/4 C heavy cream to a low simmer.
2. Pour the warm cream in a blender and start on low. Slowly add the chopped chocolate. Add a heavy pinch smoked salt and blend covered on high for a few seconds until all combined to create a ganache.
3. Fold in the ganache to the whipped cream in three batches as to not deflate the whipped cream. Make sure everything is combined and the lumps are gone. Pour into serving vessels and chill to set. To serve, top with smoked salt.
In my upcoming book, I'm including all sorts of chocolate-forward recipes like this, where you can actually taste the flavor notes of the chocolate. I can't wait to share them with you!
Do you have a special recipe that you make with craft chocolate? Tell me all about it! Write me at email@example.com or on Facebook or Twitter and I'll include your comments in the next Chocolate Today!