Chocolate Mousse with Burnt Orange Cream and Fennel

Serves 6
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat oven to 100°C.
  • For the Burnt Orange Cream, combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz on high speed to combine. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and place over a low heat. Cook, stirring, until mixture thickens, reaches 80°C, and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Once at temperature, pour the mixture into a small, square baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until dark spots appear on top, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the baked cream into a blender. Star on lowest speed and gradually increase to highest speed until a smooth purée. Scrape down the sides of the jug and continue to blitz at high speed until a smooth cream forms, about a further 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Place a sheet of 4cm wide dome moulds on to a flat baking tray. Pour the cream mixture in to the moulds and use an offset palette knife to level the tops. Place the moulds in the freezer until set.
  • For the Fennel Crisps, using a mandolin, slice fennel into 1mm slices.
  • Spread onto a lined rectangular baking tray and bake in the oven until dehydrated and just charred on edges, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool on the tray until ready to serve.
  • For the Chocolate Mousse, combine 60g of the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir constantly with a spatula until mixture reaches 80°C and forms a custard. Once at temperature, remove from heat.
  • Place the chocolate into a medium, heatproof bowl and strain the custard over the top. Allow the custard to melt the chocolate for 1-2 minutes before stirring to finish melting all of the chocolate and mixture is smooth. Ensure all chocolate has melted into the custard, if not reheat over a saucepan of simmering water to ensure that the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly until needed.
  • Meanwhile, whip the remaining 220g cream to soft peaks. Once whipped, gently fold the cream into the custard into two additions. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and set aside until needed.
  • Place a sheet of 6.5cm dome moulds on to a flat baking tray. Pipe the mousse mixture into each mould and fill three quarters full.
  • Remove the Burnt Orange Cream domes from the freezer and unmould. Push one Orange Cream Dome into each chocolate mousse dome, flat side up. Fill the remainder of the moulds with mousse to cover the Burnt Orange Cream Domes and level the tops with an offset spatula. Place the domes in the freezer and freeze until set.
  • Once frozen hard, unmould the domes onto a wire rack sitting over a baking tray and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  • For the Salted Orange Muscat Caramel, place sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until a dark amber caramel forms.
  • Slowly whisk in the cream, then continue to cook for 30 seconds. Add the Orange Muscat and Flora dessert wine and whisk to combine. Once the caramel is smooth, remove from the heat and season with salt to taste. Transfer to a small jug and set aside, keeping warm, until ready to serve.
  • For the Chocolate Glaze, combine the sugar, cocoa, cream and 70g water in a small saucepan and whisk over low heat until mixture reaches 80°C. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Once the glaze mixture is at temperature, remove from heat. Add the drained and squeezed gelatine and use a stick blender to blend mixture until smooth and gelatine has completely dissolved.
  • Strain the glaze through a fine sieve and transfer to a pouring jug. Set aside to cool to 35°C.
  • Once Chocolate Glaze is at temperature, pour over the domes on the wire rack, ensuring each dome is completely covered. Heat an offset spatula in hot water, dry well and then use it to transfer domes to the centre of the serving bowls. Set aside to defrost and soften before serving, about 15 minutes.
  • To serve, arrange 3-4 fennel crisps resting on one corner of the glazed Chocolate Mousse dome. Place some Fennel Crisps on one side of the base of each dome. Spoon fresh orange segments next to the Fennel Crisps. Arrange fennel fronds around the remainder of the base of the dome. Grate over a small amount of orange zest and serve with the Salted Orange Muscat Caramel on the side.