Chocolate mousse reminds me of fancy restaurants I went to as a child in the 80s. My parents would usually take my brother and I with them when they dined out. I remember the Rubik’s Cube of trying to eat spatchcock with all those little bones and my excitement at sorbet between courses. We lived rurally and it was a 45 minute drive down winding, dark country roads home from town. I would half sleep in the back of the car dreaming and when I opened my eyes I saw the ghostly figures of trees leaning in the light of the high beams.
Sarah and I made this mousse for a dinner party. Everyone got their own little glass, which we think is an adorable way to end a meal. The mousse is rich, but it should taste light as air and be velvety in your mouth. The recipe is definitely 80s, but some things are worth reviving.
This is our chef friend Sean’s recipe, we’ve adapted (reduced amounts) from one he used in a restaurant in New Zealand. The trick is to have a light touch with the mixture. You want it to be very airy. The ganache is a Nigella Lawson version.
for the mousse
250g bitter sweet dark chocolate
3 free-range eggs
40g caster sugar
1 tbsp creme de cocoa or dark rum
½tbsp cold strong black coffee
1 tsp vanilla essence
for the chocolate ganache
200g bitter sweet dark chocolate (minimum 70 percent cocoa solids), chopped.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure cream
To make the mousse melt the chocolate, allow it to cool slightly. Whip the cream until stiff. Separate two of the three eggs and whip the whites to stiff peaks.
Add the remaining whole egg to the two yolks and whip together with the caster sugar, coffee and vanilla until fluffy. Fold the egg, coffee and vanilla mixture very carefully through the cooled melted chocolate.
Once combined, gently fold in one third of the whipped cream, until combined, then add the rest. Next gently fold one third of the stiff egg whites, and then add the rest.
Carefully spoon the mixture into small individual serving bowls/glasses, being careful to not do too much scraping and tapping. Top the mousse with ganache and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. These will keep for a couple of days with the ganache covering the mousse.
To make the chocolate ganache put both ingredients in a saucepan and, over low heat, cook until the chocolate’s melted. Whisk together watching the mixture become thick and glossy. Cool the ganache and spoon and smooth over your mousse.
Makes about 10 small glasses.