Chocolate Mousse Infused with Pipe Tobacco
This rich chocolate mousse is infused with Cavendish pipe tobacco and it is paired with Macallan 12 Years Old. The vanilla and dried fruit aromas of Cavendish pipe tobacco pair perfectly with chocolate. The Macallan 12 Years Old also has notes of vanilla and dried fruit plus some wood smoke which all pair nicely with the Chocolate Mousse Infused with Pipe Tobacco.
I don’t smoke but I always liked the aroma of pipe tobacco so I decided to make chocolate mousse with this aroma. Since I am not familiar with the different tobaccos, I went to visit my friend David, who owns an awesome cigar and tobacco store, DWCigars, in Santa Monica.
David helped me select a few tobaccos that could pair nicely with chocolate: Cavendish, Optimum, Lone Wolf Blend, French Vanilla, Highland Whiskey and others. The aromas of all of them were so good that it was hard to decide but I finally settled for Cavendish.
The idea is to infuse the whipping cream with the pipe tobacco aromas. Whipping cream has a high fat content and fat captures aromas very well. I first tried infusing the whipping cream with tobacco smoke by using The Smoking Gun. The results were not what I was looking for. The taste was too bitter and it didn’t have the delicate aromas of fresh tobacco. I had to try something else.
My next attempt was by mixing the fresh tobacco with the whipping cream and let it infuse in the fridge for several hours. The results were better but still not good enough. The aromas of fresh tobacco were now present but the taste was still too bitter and left a slight burn in the throat. I probably let it infuse for too long. Maybe 1 or 2 hours would have been enough.
I finally decided to use the rapid infusion technique using the ISI Whip so I could try different levels of infusion without wasting too much time. If you are not familiar with the ISI Whip Rapid Infusion Technique, it is very simple. Just fill the ISI Whip with the liquid to be infused (cream in this case), add the herb, spices or fruit (tobacco in this case), charge it with N2O, wait for a minute, vent the gas out of the whipper and strain the infused liquid (cream in this case).
- 10 g (0.35 oz) of Cavendish pipe tobacco
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
- 300 g (10.6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 7 tbsp (100 ml) of water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
- 250 g (8.8 oz) raspberries for sauce and garnish
- small mint leaves for garnish
1- Pour 1 ½ cups of whipping cream in an ISI Whip and add the 10 g of tobacco.
2- Close the whipper and charge it with one ISI cream charger (1 for ½L ISI Gourmet Whip or 2 for 1L ISI Gourmet Whip) and swirl gently for 10 seconds.
3- Let it stand for 50 more seconds and with the ISI Whip standing upright vent all the N2O out of the whipper.
4- Strain the infused cream without pressing the tobacco left in the strainer or it will make the cream too bitter.
5- Chill the infused cream in the refrigerator.
6- Chill a metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in the freezer.
7- Prepare ramekins or martini glasses to serve the mousse.
8- Pour infused whipping cream in chilled mixing bowl and whip it in a stand mixer while you add the powdered sugar until you reach medium peaks. Reserve in the fridge.
9- Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to hydrate for 10 minutes.
10- Combine chocolate, water and butter in a double boiler and melt it while you stir constantly over barely simmering water.
11- Remove from heat and let it cool down to just above body temperature stirring occasionally.
12- Then carefully heat the hydrated gelatin and cream by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle.
13- Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate.
14- Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.
15- Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two parts. Do not over work the mousse.
16- Spoon into ramekins or martini glasses and store in the fridge for at least one hour.
17- Using an immersion blender puree the raspberries. Pass the puree through a fine sieve.
Assemble and Serve
1- Spread some raspberry sauce on the plate.
2- Unmold the chocolate mousse infused with pipe tobacco.
3- Garnish with some raspberries and mint leaves.
- Serve with a glass of Scotch such as Macallan 12 Years Old.