This recipe-which took me a while to dabble with-of sweet chocolate, pink peppercorns and rose aptly sums up the name of my 2017 Christmas course, “Sugar n’ Spice”.
Unlike other Rose water brands, Nielsen Massey’s rose water is distinctively authentic and transforms the flavour of the white chocolate to a delicate floral perfume. At R150 a bottle (Thrupps and Yuppie Chef) you only require a quarter of a teaspoon for this recipe, and while this sounds wasteful, it’s better to leave this out than replace the brand.
White chocolate does not have the same depth of flavour as dark chocolate, which is why I also chose to add the dimension of cream cheese to it’s bland sweetness. Do not substitute the Lindt chocolate with anything other than couverture (this includes Milky Bar and baking chocolate).
I use Woolworth’s organic cream as it has the most incredible pure white colour-like snow peaks. Rose and cream are a match made in heaven so the flavour combinations pair beautifully to make a mousse mysterious and unlike one you have ever tasted before.
Pink peppercorns or poivre rose are not actually peppercorns – they are dried berries and have a peppery undertone. The Fragrantly Aromatic Foods range (Pick n’ Pay, Delft Butchery and Thrupps) stock these at a reasonable R60, but food snobs can order a little jar of Terre Exotique Madagascar pink berries from Yuppie Chef for R170.
Described as woody, sweet and peppery with notes of burnt Juniper, Yuppie Chef advises that these “play nicely” with Musgrave gin.
These crushed flecks of pink jewels in both the mousse and meringues-a perfect pairing-cut through the sweetness and offer a beautiful burst of spice to the rose and chocolate. Find the meringue recipe here
WHITE CHOCOLATE, CREAM CHEESE AND ROSE MOUSSE (8 medium or 12 small)
- 100g Swiss white Lindt chocolate (plain not filled), broken into squares
- ½ cup cream (to melt chocolate)
- 1 tub of cream (organic cream from Woolworth’s delicious and very “white”)
- 2 blocks (500g) of full fat cream cheese (like Lancewood, Woolies, P n’ P or Philadelphia)
- 200g icing sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons dry pink peppercorns, crushed with a spoon, back of a knife or with a pestle and mortar
- ¼ teaspoon Nielsen Massey rose water
- Heat the 1/2 cup of cream, remove from heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted
- Whip the tub of cream and place in a separate bowl
- Beat the 2 tubs of cream cheese until smooth
- Add the icing sugar, beat until smooth, add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth
- Add the peppercorns and rose essence
- Fold the cream into the mixture and pour into 8 medium or 12 small Moroccan glasses or pots to chill ( I prefer to use a disposable piping bag)
Optional garnishes and decorations: Garnish with crushed pink peppercorns, Nicoletta’s gold star confetti (West Pack and Party Spot) Ginger Ray gold star cupcake toppers (Party Spot), fresh raspberries, Woolworth’s rose, ginger and raspberry grind or shards of white Lindt Les Grandes (white chocolate and almonds).
Dip mini (Woolworths) or large sugar cones in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with small gold edible cupcake decorations to make snow-capped Christmas trees. Place on top of mousse when serving.