Chocolate mousse cake with poached pears and crème fraîche

This melt-in-your-mouth mousse cake is beautifully garnished. It's the perfect sweet treat with the one you love.

Recipe from MKR: Best of the Best Cookbook (RRP $39.99), published by Hachette Australia. Get 70% off* the RRP - Order here.

Ingredients:

340g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
225g unsalted butter, softened
5 eggs
340g caster sugar
Crème fraîche, to serve
½ teaspoon black salt, to garnish
Extra cocoa, for dusting
Mint leaves, to garnish

Poached pears
4 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, cored and halved
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
100g brown sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. To prepare the pears, place in a small casserole dish and add the cinnamon, sugar and enough boiling water to cover the pears. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for about 40 minutes or until very tender. Remove the pears and set aside to cool. Refrigerate, covered, until required.

2. To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 22cm round springform tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

4. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Fold half the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture, then repeat with the remaining batch.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Place in a roasting pan and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Cook in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes. Remove the cake pan from the roasting dish, set aside to cool and refrigerate overnight.

6. To serve, remove the outer ring of the pan and cut the cake into generous slices. Place each slice on a serving plate, spoon over a generous amount of crème fraîche and garnish with black salt. Place a pear half beside each slice of cake, dust over a little cocoa and garnish with fresh mint.

Tips:

If black salt is unavailable, try garnishing the crème fraîche with a little grated chocolate.