I was thinking about walnut whips the other day, and how great they were when I was a kid. My dad would always bring one back when we stopped at a petrol station. Of course, I then started pondering on how I could get a walnut whip fix, and possibly make them more decadent at the same time. Cue: brandy, and mascarpone and caramelised walnuts; a slightly more sophisticated take on everyone's favourite chocolatey-walnutty classic.
What is absolutely essential for this recipe is a silicon tray to make the chocolate shells in: it doesn't need to be a cupcake tray (you might have a fancy chocolate-making one lying around somewhere) but if you don't already have one, go buy one! They're super useful. And then make these. And send some to me. I ate mine already.
Walnut Whips (Makes 8)
You will need:
- 150g dark chocolate
- knob of butter, melted
- 250g mascarpone
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp brandy
For the caramelised walnuts:
- Handful walnut halves
- 1 heaped tbsp muscovado sugar
The walnut whips:
- Break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt it in a bain marie, or in 20 second bursts in the microwave.
- Using a pastry brush, grease the silicon cupcake cases with the melted butter.
- Then, brush the moulds with 3/4 of the melted chocolate, making sure you get a thick, even covering on the sides and bottom.
- Place the tray in the fridge for 15-20 minutes in order to set.
- Re-melt the remaining chocolate if necessary, and brush an extra layer in all of the moulds, before returning to the fridge for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla and brandy in a bowl and beat together until well combined.
- Carefully pop the chocolate shells out of the silicon moulds. You might want to place them in cupcake cases at this point, to avoid them melting when you touch them.
- Fill a piping bag with the mascarpone mixture, and pipe into the chocolate shells.
The caramelised walnuts:
- Place the muscovado sugar along with 1 tbsp water in a small pan and wait until the sugar is melted and bubbling.
- Drop the walnut halves into the sugar, turning them to ensure an even covering.
- Spoon out onto a plate or board to set.
- When ready, top each walnut whip with a caramelised walnut half and sit back to enjoy your (totally not for kids) treat.