Chocolate mousse with praline/dulce de leche/candied popcorn/nut crumble/chocolate flames

A good dessert can bring a smile to your face. Good, i.e. not too sweet, balanced in taste and thoughtfully composed. After all, it is usually supposed to be the proverbial icing on the cake of the whole meal, so it is worth trying to end the meeting at the table in the most memorable way possible.

Opening a bottle of the great 10-year-old S. Leonardo tawny from Quinta do Mourão (see here ), I decided to prepare a dessert for it that would pair well with the wine itself. Tawny represents a certain style of its own and I tried to choose the flavors so that they corresponded best with this drink. I opted for the chocolate, nut and caramel ones, because tawny likes such company. I served chocolate mousse with praline, dulce de leche, candied popcorn, hazelnut crumble and chocolate flames.

Dessert takes some time and work, but is not complicated in itself. To make it, silicone molds for monoportions will be useful, which make the whole work easier. If you have a bottle of good tawny on hand, you can try the following recipe and decide for yourself whether the combination is right. Everything worked for me.

Ingredients (4-6 servings):

Chocolate mousse:

300ml of fondant cream

1/4 teaspoon of agar

250-300g of good quality dark chocolate

300 ml of whipped cream

100g of praline paste (I use a homemade one – 200g of roasted hazelnuts put in a pan with 100g of sugar and heat until the sugar caramelizes and the resulting caramel coats the nuts. I put the whole thing on a silicone mat and let it cool down completely. Then I divide the frozen nuts into pieces, put in a food processor and blend to a paste, add a little lime juice and neutral oil and mix briefly again)

Chocolate Flames:

100 ml of fondant cream

100g of good quality dark chocolate

a pinch of agar

Dulce de leche cream:

100g kaymak

100 ml of fondant cream

1/4 teaspoon of agar

Candied popcorn:

1 package of popcorn (to prepare yourself in the microwave)

2 tablespoons of honey

50g of sugar

1 tablespoon of butter

Nut crumble:

50g walnuts, finely chopped or blended

50 g of sunflower seeds

50 g cane sugar

50g oat flakes, blended

50g butter, cut into small pieces

Preparation: Chocolate mousse:

Put the cream, praline paste, agar in a pot and heat it while stirring until it boils. Pour the hot cream into the chocolate broken into pieces and mix until smooth. Let the whole thing cool down a bit, then add the whipped cream and mix gently. Place the finished mousse in silicone molds (I use small cylindrical ones) and place in the freezer for at least 5 hours.

Chocolate Flames:

Put the cream and agar in a pot, heat it while stirring until it boils. Pour the hot cream into the chocolate broken into pieces and mix until smooth. Fill the resulting mass into flame-shaped silicone molds (or any other shape). Put it in the freezer for a few hours.

Dulce de leche cream:

Kajmak, cream and agar are placed in a pot and heated while stirring, bringing to a boil. Remove from heat, cool slightly and pour into molds in the shape of rosettes (or circles). We put it in the fridge for two hours.

Candied popcorn:

Bring the sugar, honey and half a cup of water to a boil in a pot. Add butter and cook until slightly caramel in color. Then add popcorn and mix. We put it on a silicone mat, let it cool down, and then break it into smaller pieces.

Nut crumble:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead with your hands until crumbs form, or place in a food processor and pulse mix.

Place all the elements of the dessert on the plate as shown in the pictures. Serve with good port tawny or sweet Madeira, vin santo, sweet or liqueur muscat. Good coffee will help too.