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Recipe: Chocolate Mousse with Praline & Toasted Pearl Barley Ice Cream

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Courtesy of Matthew Weedon, Head Chef of The Feathered Nest Country Inn, in the picturesque village of Nether Westcote in the heart of the Cotswolds.

Ingredients

Chocolate Mousse:

1 leaf gelatine
60ml whipping cream
100g good dark chocolate
200ml whipping cream
75g caster sugar

Cocoa Nib Biscuit:

20g liquid glucose
50g caster sugar
50g butter
4g liquid pectin
100g cocoa nibs

Ice Cream:

250g pearl barley
1 litre milk
200ml double cream
12 egg yolks
250g caster sugar

Toasted Hazelnuts:

150g peeled hazelnuts
1tbsp sugar
1tbsp egg whites

Method

Chocolate Mousse:

Soften the gelatine in cold water. Remove gelatine from water and squeeze off any excess. Heat 60ml of whipping cream and add in the gelatine and caster sugar. Stir to dissolve.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and then remove from heat. Semi whip the 200ml whipping cream then add that to the chocolate followed by the gelatine mixture and mix together well. Refrigerate and allow to set the day before.

Cocoa Nib Biscuit:

Bring the glucose, sugar, butter and pectin to the boil and fold in the cocoa nibs. Take off the heat and cool. Spread on parchment paper and roll out to a thickness of 3mm. Freeze on flat trays then bake at 160°C for 20 minutes and allow to cool. Store in an airtight box until required.

Ice Cream:

Put the pearl barley on a tray and cook in the oven at 180°C until golden brown (roughly 25 minutes). In a saucepan, bring the milk, double cream and pearl barley to the boil. Mix the yolks and sugar in a bowl until yellow and fluffy. Pour some of the milk/cream onto the yolks/sugar and mix well. Pour back into the remaining milk/cream and heat while continuously whisking to 84°C. Pass through a fine sieve, cool and then churn and freeze.

Toasted Hazelnuts:

Mix the peeled hazelnuts with the caster sugar and egg whites and bake in the oven at 180°C until golden. Allow to cool and crisp up.

To Serve

To dress the plates take a spoonful of good quality praline paste and spread across the plate. Rocher the mousse and sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts. Then, Rocher the ice cream and add the cocoa nib biscuit and serve.

Wine Recommendation: Recioto Della Valpollicella Classico.

Hints and Tips

Rocher means to mould food into an elliptical shape using one spoon.

Liquid pectin is usually extracted from fruit such as apples or citrus fruits. Pectin is in the cells of the fruit which is boiled in water and an acid, such as lemon juice. This liquid is reduced resulting in concentrated liquid pectin.

The quality of the food is at the heart of The Feathered Nest, offering modern British cooking. The Head Chef and his team source ingredients and produce from local suppliers, where possible. Not only does this attest to the freshness of the ingredients, but in turn supports local farmers and suppliers, whilst reducing their carbon footprint. The Feathered Nest work closely with local suppliers to ensure they source the best produce possible. From curing their own meats, smoking wild trout or prepping a brace of pheasants in their butchery, they want their passion for food to be experienced by all their customers. The restaurant’s accolades include Times Top 100 Restaurant, Gastropub of the year, and AA 3 Red Rosettes. thefeatherednestinn.co.uk

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