A chocolatey climax to a romantic Valentine’s dinner, what’s not to love?
Sarah actually wanted me to write about her all-time favourite chocolate mousse, which is a Raymond Blanc recipe (not the one with lemon juice!) but frankly, I prefer all my ingredients to be fully used up rather than having to store an excess in the refrigerator, where there’s always the risk of it getting pushed to the back and being forgotten. So, sorry Sarah but the disparity between using one egg yolk to ten egg whites in that recipe, sends me into a tail spin whilst I try to figure out what to do with the remaining glut of yolks! I suppose I could have blogged mayonnaise and hollandaise sauces but since I’m focused on cooking for two people this week, I wanted an altogether more streamlined chocolate mousse recipe that has no need for added sugar.
The one I finally settled on is an Elizabeth David recipe, which really appealed to me because, at its simplest, you only need an ounce of quality dark chocolate, a tablespoon of water and an egg per person. My chocolate mousse calls for the same ingredients except I’ve swapped the water for a ‘shot’ of strong espresso coffee and added a smidge of salted butter for a little more sophistication. I think it is the perfect finale to an intimate celebration meal for low-carb, Primal diet aficionados.
Surprisingly quick and easy to make, the taste and texture are in my view balanced to perfection - not too sweet, light as a feather and deeply chocolatey.
Quality ingredients are vital. Being short on the number of ingredients it’s not expensive to make, so buy the very best 70% dark chocolate (no more than 70% cocoa solids, as this can turn your mousse ‘grainy’), decent quality butter and the freshest organic free-range eggs you can find. I used a Nespresso Kazaar coffee pod to make a fresh strong espresso to further enhance the chocolate flavour.
The result is a divinely unctuous dessert that provides mouthfuls of pure pleasure. I really can’t think of anything more appropriate for the occasion!
Chocolate Mousse (V) (Serves 2)
60g (2oz) fine quality dark chocolate, chopped - I used Callebaut Finest, Satongo dark chocolate chips (saves the time and hassle involved in breaking or chopping up a chocolate bar!) available from an amazing website called Chocolate Trading Co
2 large eggs, separated
10g salted butter
2 tbsp strong espresso coffee
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of barely simmering water. (alternatively, you can put the bowl of chocolate in an oven switched down to it’s lowest setting). Leave it to melt.
When the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat. Stir in the espresso coffee and the butter.
Separate the egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Beat the egg yolks thoroughly, then stir them into the chocolate mix.
With a clean whisk beat the egg whites until they are white and thick but still fluffy. Don’t overbeat them and let them get too stiff or they will be difficult to combine with the chocolate.
Stir a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to loosen it, then immediately fold in the rest. Be very gentle with cutting and folding in the egg whites but be thorough - if you’re too heavy-handed you’ll knock the air bubbles out and end up with a flat mousse, but if you don’t combine the egg whites into the chocolate completely you’ll have white streaks running through it.
Pour the mousse into two individual glasses or ramekin dishes and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. The longer it’s left the more dense it becomes.
There are a few tricks to making good chocolate mousse:
- The eggs and butter should be at room temperature before you start
- Don’t stir the chocolate whilst it’s melting because it may ‘seize’ up
- Use a large metal spoon (not a wooden one) to fold the egg whites into the chocolate
N.B. If you have any concerns about eating raw eggs (to the extent that you won’t eat a soft boiled egg) sadly, this recipe is not for you.
Carbohydrate 9g Protein 8g - per portion