The best chocolate mousse

When I was little there were two cookbooks that I loved to look at. One was my mums copy of the Edmonds Cookery Book which was full of (now very vintage) photos of exotic food and a birthday party scene I used to dream about. (There is also a chapter oddly titled ‘Invalids’.) The other was a cookbook from Cadbury called ‘Winning ways with chocolate’ and I’m pretty sure this is where my love of chocolate came from. This book had heaps of old school recipes for cakes, slices and desserts, including one for chocolate mousse. The recipe itself didn’t sound particularly tasty (evaporated milk and raw eggs) but the photo looked like a bowl of chocolate cloud.

This recipe doesn’t contain any nasty raw eggs. Instead we combine a glorious cloud of cooked meringue with some whipped cream and silky melted chocolate. It is uber rich, be sure to use a dark chocolate (at least 70%), otherwise your mousse will be too sweet.

*you will need a candy thermometer.

Ingredients

½c sugar
30ml water
50g egg whites, at room temperature
400g dark chocolate (at least 70%), finely chopped
1c full cream milk
2c cream

Method

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.
While the sugar/water is coming to temperature, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on a medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
With the mixer on, gradually pour in the hot syrup in a steady stream. You want to carefully aim between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Beat at high speed until stiff, about 3 minutes. Transfer the meringue to a bowl and cover with Gladwrap.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it has just reached a simmer, then pour the milk over the chocolate.
Leave it to stand for one minute before whisking until the chocolate is smooth and glossy. Allow it to cool.
In another bowl, beat the cream to soft peaks. Remove ½c and reserve it for serving.

mousse ingredients
Add the meringue to the cream and whisk it in. Add the melted chocolate and quickly fold it in.

Pour the mousse into serving glasses and chill until set.

Notes

  • Adapted from Dominique Ansel.
  • I recommend using a very dark chocolate (at least 70%). This mousse is so rich that it needs a dark chocolate to balance it.
  • I served my mousse in little glass pudding jars and gifted them to friends. I topped them with Valhrona chocolate pearls and freeze dried raspberries.

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