Black Forrest Matchsticks

Black Forrest Matchsticks

Black Forrest Matchsticks

These are easy to whip up for a dinner party and look (and taste) wonderful.
The smokey chocolate mousse with the cherries and flaky puff pastry is a lovely combination.  It is possible to use normal, pre-rolled pastry sheets for this recipe, just brush them with egg wash and double over the sheets to make them twice the normal thickness.  Alternatively, roll out good butter puff, or even make your puff pastry from scratch if you are feeling brave and adventurous.
The chocolate mousse quantity here is a full recipe, this can be frozen as an intense chocolate ice-cream if there are left-overs.

Make the chocolate mousse first, to allow it to set.

For the chocolate mousse:
350 grams of the very best chocolate you can afford
2-3 tablespoons of Kirsch (Cherry Brandy)
5 eggs, separated
2 cups of cream, whipped to stiff peaks
1 teaspoon very strong espresso coffee
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Pinch of salt

Over a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the liqueur and egg yolks.  Beat the chocolate and egg mix well until very glossy. 
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks with a pinch of salt.  Fold the whipped cream and then the egg whites into the chocolate mix until a smooth, even consistency is reached.
Refrigerate until set to a soft but firm consistency.

1 quantity puff pastry of your choice
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons icing sugar
300mls double cream
1 tin cherries in syrup or fresh cherries

Pre-heat oven to 225°C

Roll the pastry and cut into long thin strips.  Baste the tops of the pastry matchsticks with the beaten egg and a tiny sprinkle of icing sugar.  Place the pastry strips on a lined baking sheet and bake in a hot oven until golden brown and puffed.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until entirely cold.

To assemble:
Using a piping bag (or a spatula) layer the cream onto one of the matchsticks. 
Add a layer of chocolate mousse to the second matchstick and add a row of cherries, then sandwich gently together.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with a few threads of lime, some additional cherries or shards of chocolate.