Chocolate Mousse with Boozy Cherries and Miso-Roasted Pecans
- 15 grams (⅔ oz / 1 tablespoon) miso
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon caster (superfine sugar)
- 60 grams (2 oz / generous ½ cup) pecan halves
- 175 ml (6 fl oz / ¾ cup) water
- 200 grams (7 oz) dark (plain unsweetened) chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ice, for chilling
- 400 grams (14 oz) tinned cherry pie filling
- 4 tablespoons Japanese whisky or bourbon
- or any not-too-smoky whisky
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320°F/Gas 4).
To make the miso-roasted pecans:
Mix together the miso, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl. Use your hands to coat the pecans with the miso mixture, then spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 10–15 minutes (check them after 10), until deep brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
To make the mousse:
Bring the water to a simmer then add the chocolate and vanilla extract. Simmer until the chocolate is completely melted, then pour into a mixing bowl. Place this bowl inside another bowl half-filled with ice and a bit of water, then whisk the chocolate water as if you were whipping cream. As it cools it will thicken and aerate – stop whipping when the chocolate holds a trail, NOT when it forms peaks, because it is very easy to over-whip. However, if the mixture siezes up and goes grainy, you can just re-melt the chocolate and start over. Cool!
Scoop the mousse into glasses, ideally crystal so it all looks sufficiently 1970s. Stir the cherry pie filling together with the whisky, then spoon that on top of the mousse. Cover and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
Garnish with the miso pecans just before tucking in.
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Extracted from Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, hardback & ebook available) Photography © Nassima Rothacker.