Sunday, 27 June 2010

Chocolate Mousse 1 - Football 0

Just as I do with sponge cakes, I think of chocolate mousse in imperial terms.  Not in a neo-colonial way, no, but in as much as the imperial weights and measures just seem to work with certain recipes. For each serving, use one egg and one ounce of chocolate.  A little dash of a carefully chosen flavouring and that's all you need.  Good, simple food at its best!

As far as flavourings for chocolate mousse go, I have tried many, many variations over the years.  Brandy is always my classic fall-back.  Fruity liqueurs work well, as does good old fresh orange juice.  I love mint chocolate mousse, but really good peppermint extracts are few and far between.  I'd be interested to know if anyone has a source...?  Dark rum is nice in the winter (for me, rum is very much a winter flavour) and coffee is an elegant flavour as long as no-one is going to object to a coffee-chocolate mix.  Some people seem to feel inordinately strongly about that; maybe brought on by too many cheap chocolate-covered 'coffee creams' as a child..?

Classic Chocolate Mousse

4 eggs, separated
4oz plain chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp brandy (and see above)

Melt the chocolate in a big bowl.  Let it cool, then stir in the egg yolks, one by one.  This is the point at which to add any flavouring.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold the whites into the cooled chocolate mixture.  Pour the mousse into serving pots and chill until set.  I don't usually garnish my chocolate mousse at all; today I used some strawberries from my friend Avril's garden; a few raspberries or a blob of whipped cream with a light dusting of cocoa are equally nice, when the urge for a little lily-gilding comes upon one.

The chocolate mousse was tonight's pudding, following a supper of Chicken, Leeks and Bacon with a Crumble Topping.  Very good it was too, unlike the football result!
Cath xx

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