Baked chocolate mousse with candied fennel


For the baked chocolate mousse
  • ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 300g/10½oz dark bitter chocolate, at least 60 per cent cocoa content
  • 150g/5½oz unsalted butter
  • 6 free-range eggs, separated
  • 50g/2oz caster sugar
For the candied fennel
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 100ml/3½fl oz water
To serve
  • icing sugar, to dust
  • cocoa powder, to dust
  • double cream, whipped
  • few sprigs fresh mint

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  2. For the baked chocolate mousse, line the base and sides of a 20cm/8in spring-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper. Lay the slices of fennel over the base of the tin.

  3. Place the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

  4. Place the egg yolks into a bowl with two tablespoons of the sugar and whisk together. Stir in the melted chocolate and mix well.

  5. Place the egg whites into a separate clean bowl with the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  6. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until risen and set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

  7. Meanwhile, for the candied fennel, place the fennel into a pan with the sugar and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the fennel is softened and the liquid reduced to a syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

  8. To serve, cut the mousse into wedges and dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder. Serve with the candied fennel, a spoonful of whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint.

James Martin recipes from Sweet Baby James

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4-8