Bitter chocolate, chilled mugwort tea, semi-dried blueberries, by Paul Foster

16 December 2011
Bitter chocolate, chilled mugwort tea, semi-dried blueberries, by Paul Foster

(Serves four)

For the chilled mugwort tea 150g sugar
1 litre water
400g mugwort leaves and flowers, washed

For the chocolate mousse 400g hot water
450g chocolate (64% cocoa solids)

For the chocolate ganache 400g double cream
400g chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
50g salted butter

For the chocolate "soil" 135g butter, melted
100g cocoa powder
250g sugar
280g ground almonds
120g flour

For the semi-dried blueberries 50g sugar
200ml water
100g blueberries

For the mugwort tea Heat sugar and water together to make a light stock syrup. When it boils, remove from the heat and add 200g of the mugwort. Allow to cool and chill in the fridge. When the syrup is cold, pass out the mugwort and add the other 200g to the cold mix. Leave to infuse for 12 hours. (It is important to do the hot then the cold infusion. The cold infusion enhances the flavour and adds a freshness to the tea.)

For the chocolate mousse Pour water over chocolate and stir until melted, then whisk in a metal bowl over ice until you reach the ribbon stage. Leave to set in the fridge.

For the chocolate ganache If using block chocolate, roughly break in to pieces. Heat cream and whisk, add chocolate and, as it melts, whisk together. Mix in the butter, ensure it is well mixed and set in the fridge.

For the chocolate "soil" Melt butter, then add cocoa, sugar, almonds and flour and mix together. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 150°C slowly for about 10 minutes, turning constantly. When ready, leave to cool and place in an airtight container until ready to plate.

For the semi-dried blueberries Boil sugar and water, take off the heat and add blueberries. Leave for one minute, then strain them and spread over greaseproof paper. Dehydrate the blueberries for two or three hours until they are just wrinkled but still juicy, then keep in the fridge until ready to plate.

To plate Gently warm the blueberries through to take the chill off them, ensure the ganache is at room temperature, then spread it on the side of a deep bowl, add a spoon of the soil and a quenelle of the mousse. Sprinkle over some blueberries and poor the mugwort tea into the middle of the bowl. Serve.

Paul Foster, head chef, Tuddenham Mill,

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