If you have never taken a sip of piping hot rock wulong tea and immediately followed it with a square of good chocolate, letting it melt luxuriously on your tongue as it mingles with the rich, complex aftertaste… Well, what on Earth are you waiting for?
Oh, you want both flavors in one convenient recipe? Something easy enough to whip up on a weekday afternoon yet refined enough to impress your dinner guests? A delicate balance of tea and chocolate, bitter and sweet?
Fine. But you’re lucky you’re so cute.
I chose our Premium Rou Gui for this recipe because it has a strong, distinctive flavor and a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of cinnamon. It is grown in the mineral-rich soil of the central Wu Yi mountain range and has a traditional medium roast, giving it an ever-so-slightly smokey edge.
When I use tea to infuse a recipe, I look for strength of flavor rather than delicate nuance; after all, what’s the sense in investing in a high-end tea when the finer characteristics may be lost in the variables of other ingredients? Premium Rou Gui is a good value because it delivers a lot of flavor for a fairly low cost, and you can even use previous years’ harvests to benefit from the sales price.
Despite being a rapacious dark chocolate fiend when selecting a chocolate to eat on its own, I used half milk chocolate in this recipe to avoid drowning out the tea flavor. If you prefer to use either one or the other, keep in mind that dark chocolate may mask the flavor of the tea while milk chocolate will make it significantly sweeter. I also make sure to use a good-quality chocolate which lacks the occasionally overbearing qualities of truly high-end chocolate. Valrhona, for instance, is delicious but rather distinctive; Ghirardelli chocolate chips (or Trader Joe’s “Pound Plus” Belgian chocolate) are, conversely, obligingly nondescript, and have the added benefit of being very easy to find. Play around and see which chocolate suits you best!
If you don’t have a pastry bag for piping the chocolate into serving glasses or tart shells, I often use gallon-sized zip-top freezer bags merely for convenience’s sake. Simply fill the bag, snip off one of the bottom corners, and squeeze into your preferred mousse-to-mouth conveyance vessel.
Chocolate Rou Gui Mousse
- 16 oz (2 cups) heavy cream, divided
- 20 grams Rou Gui Wulong Tea
- 3 large eggs
- 5 oz sugar
- 4 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 oz dark (around 70%) chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 oz unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- chocolate shavings or cocoa nibs (to garnish)
- Combine the cream and the tea in a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Immediately remove from the heat and cover. Allow to cool for about 1 hour, then pour into a glass measuring cup, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator overnight or up to overnight.
- Strain the tea leaves out of the cream, pressing firmly with a spoon or spatula to get as much cream out as possible. Measure out 1 cup and whip to soft peaks; chill while you prepare the rest of the mousse. Reserve the rest to whip later as a garnish, if desired.
- In a large, heat-proof bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk briskly over simmering water using either an electric handheld mixer or a whisk until a candy thermometer reads 160 degrees; this will take between 5 and 10 minutes, and the mixture will be thick and frothy.
- Remove from the heat and continue to beat until somewhat cooled, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and butter and beat until well-combined and completely cool.
- Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no streaks of white remain.
- Pour or pipe into glasses, serving bowls, or tart shells, and chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Chocolate Tart Shells
- 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (3 oz) cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons (3 oz) sugar
- 1 egg
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 days.
- Roll out thinly, cut into circles, and press into tart molds or mini-muffin tins. Prick the bottoms with a fork and freeze for about 15 minutes.
- Bake at 350° F for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough appears dry and has puffed up slightly. Allow to cool in the pan, then remove and cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.