Black Forest post-birthday cupcakes

Had these on the day after my birthday; I had intended them to be for my birthday but didn’t have the time on my birthday or on the day before to finish assembling them. They are another take on the Black Forest gâteau, but this time I just made dark chocolate and buttermilk cupcakes according to my own specifications (including some kirsch), filled them with cherry jam, and topped them with white chocolate kirsch mousse.

The mousse is a Heston Blumenthal recipe, part of his rather elaborate Black Forest gâteau, with its (I kid you not) 62 individual ingredients. If you’re motivated you can use just two of the 62 ingredients (cocoa butter and 33% cocoa solids Valrhona Tanariva milk chocolate) to make aerated chocolate in a vacuum bag – just watch the whole thing in this video, it’s worth it. Anyway, the white chocolate kirsch mousse is fantastic, and I got the recipe out of the enjoyably hefty The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. Mousse recipe below the cut.

White chocolate kirsch mousse
7.5g leaf gelatine (170 bloom)
300g white chocolate
500g whipping cream [pouring/thickened cream, 35% fat]
60g kirsch
40g egg yolks
10g unrefined caster sugar
125ml whole milk

Soak the gelatine in cold water and set aside.

Chop the white chocolate and gently melt in a bain-marie or microwave. Set aside.

Lightly whip the cream and kirsch to soft peaks and set aside.

Whisk the yolks and sugar together for 5 minutes and set aside.

Heat the milk in a saucepan to 60°C/140°F. Slowly pour it into the egg mixture while whisking constantly then return to the pan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until it reaches 70°C/160°F, and hold at this temperature for 10 minutes.

Squeeze the gelatine dry, then add to the saucepan and stir to dissolve. Pour the mixture into the melted chocolate and stir together. Fold in the cream, then pour [into individual bowls, one large bowl, whatever you want to keep or serve it in]. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set.

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