Recipe: Salted maple mousse with peanut butter ganache and cinnamon granola cookies

Maple Syrup mousse by Charlotte Smith- Jarvis. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Maple Syrup mousse by Charlotte Smith- Jarvis. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Impress your friends with this decadent autumnal pud.

I'm not really one for making fancy food all the time. I honestly think the best meals to serve friends are big old one pots. Things that require very little time in the kitchen, and more time sitting around the table with a glass of vino and a bowl of crisps (well, that's the standard with my friends anyway).

Dinner chez Smith-Jarvis is usually a pot of curry, maybe with some homemade relishes and a few poppadoms, or my 'famous' lasagne, flavoured with lashings of red wine.

Sometimes though, very occasionally, I get the bug to be more creative and pull out all the stops. Most recently the urge to roll up my sleeves and spend a few hours in the kitchen came after a visit to Grain in Colchester. This concept restaurant, run by two ambitious young chefs, specialises in small, starter-sized plates of food.

Think a kinda posh type of tapas. The food changes pretty much every day and with the seasons at Grain, and when I last stopped in with friends we all fell head-over-heels for a dessert of maple syrup mousse, served with a peanut butter ganache, crumbles of granola and various other bits and pieces that sent our palates crazy.

It was a bowl-licker of a creation and I yearned for it in the days that followed.

So this week, here is my version of that dish. I know it's available all-year-round but I associate maple syrup with autumn. Everytime I pour it over pancakes I picture Canada's auburn and ochre-leaved trees.

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Ideally make this dessert on the morning before you plan to serve it, or the night before. The elements themselves aren't difficult, but they do take time.

You'll end with a fluffy mousse, rich ganache and crumbly biscuit to either crush over the top or dunk straight in.

It's a little bit lovely.

Salted maple mousse with peanut butter ganache and granola cookie crumble

(Serves 4-6)


For the mousse:

4 sheets leaf gelatine

4 medium eggs separated

250ml maple syrup

180ml single cream

2tbsps caster sugar

100ml double cream, whipped to stiff peaks

For the ganache

140g white chocolate

3tbsps smooth peanut butter

150ml double cream

For the cinnamon granola biscuits

175g unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1/2tsp vanilla extract

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

400g plain flour

1 handful granola (I like Bonallack Great Granola, made in Norfolk)


Make the mousse first. Soak the gelatine in water for 10 minutes to soften. In the meantime heat the maple syrup, single cream, egg yolks and sugar over a low heat in a pan on the hob. Once the gelatine has softened squeeze it out and add the sheets to the pan of warm syrup. Beat to combine.

Pour the mix into the fridge to set for about one hour. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped double cream into the set syrup mix, then fold in the egg whites gently. Pour into your serving dishes.

For the ganache heat the cream until it simmers. Take off the heat and add the white chocolate and peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Set aside until needed.

For the biscuits blitz all the ingredients in a food processor to combine. Roll out to about 3mm thick and cut into your desired shapes. Bake at 180C for 12 to 15 minutes until golden and firm.

Serve the mousse with a smear of ganache and crumbled cookies. If you want to be really fancy place the mousse in a piping bag and pipe onto plates.

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