Classic chocolate mousse

7 Mar

I have a confession to make. After my blog post on tiramisu last week, where I mentioned what a sucker I am for mousse desserts, I talked myself into such a craving that I couldn’t think of anything else. I had created a monster.

Chocolate mousse originated in France in the 18th century. Bless the soul of the person who invented such a treat! There are few things in life as delectable as proper chocolate mousse. Most people prefer it in small quantities, because of its richness. I don’t share their sentiments. I can finish a whole batch of chocolate mousse in one sitting. In fact, I have to restrain myself not to.

Chocolate mousse should contain great quality dark chocolate, but it is not necessary to spend a fortune. I have tried Lindt 70% dark chocolate, and I have also tried Cadbury’s Bournville classic dark chocolate – both make great mousses, so use the best quality you can afford. Don’t use regular milk chocolate though, because the flavour will be substandard and the colour of the end product will be too light.

It is difficult to find ready-made chocolate mousse in a supermarket that doesn’t taste like is was made with gelatin and poor quality cooking chocolate. The closest to a good chocolate mousse I could find in SA is Woolworths’s Triple Chocolate Dessert, which contains white and dark chocolate mousse as well as chocolate ganache – quite a nifty little chocolate fix, but it wouldn’t satisfy my inner monster. I needed the good stuff, and I needed it to be big.

My recipe for chocolate mousse is velvety, slightly alcoholic, very rich and tastes like a true classic that will put you in a dreamy chocolate-induced haze. I use only 250ml of cream instead of 500ml, to ensure that the chocolate remains the guest of honour at this party.

Ingredients:

300g good quality dark chocolate

30g butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons whiskey

3 egg whites

4 tablespoons caster sugar

250ml cream

  • Melt chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl is not touching the water. After a few minutes, stir with spatula untill smooth.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Add eggs and whiskey and stir untill smooth.
  • Whisk egg whites in a separate clean dry bowl untill stiff peaks form, adding the sugar gradually.
  • Fold chocolate mixture into egg whites with a large metal spoon, one third at a time.
  • Whip cream separately and fold into mousse mixture.
  • Pour into small ramekins or one big bowl, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
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