Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Mousse

 I have no idea how many times I have made Chocolate Mousse over the years, however I can safely say it is a lot.  I have never tired of it though and still make it at least a couple of times a year for birthdays and special occasions.

Another marvellous thing I have recently discovered about Chocolate Mousse is that if you spoon individual portions into ramekins and freeze it makes the most astonishingly silky no-churn  ice-cream.

 Chocolate Mousse

 350 grams of the very best chocolate you can afford

2-3 tablespoons of Brandy, Cognac or other liqueur

5 eggs, separated

2 cups of cream, whipped to stiff peaks

1 teaspoon very strong espresso coffee (optional, but it cuts through the richness)

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Pinch of salt

 

Over a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the liqueur, vanilla and egg yolks.  Beat the chocolate and egg yolk mix well until very glossy.  

Add the coffee and Brandy (or other liqueur of choice) and fold the mousse together well. 

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks with a pinch of salt.  Fold the whipped cream and then the egg whites into the chocolate mix until a smooth, even consistency is reached.  Check for sweetness and flavour before chilling - the mousse should be sweet but balanced with the liqueur, with a very slight flush of coffee.

Spoon or pipe the chocolate mousse into individual dishes or glasses, or if youy prefer into a single large dish.

Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Chocolate Mousse - White, Dark and RaspberryVariations:

Raspberry Chambord Mousse - Bright pink, sweet and tangy this is one of my favourites.  Make a basic white chocolate mousse mix (substitute white chocolate in place of the dark chocolate above), then add 2 tablespoons Raspberry Chambord liqueur, and 100 grams fresh raspberries squished to a pulp and passed through a sieve.   

Add the raspberry mix  and combine together well.   Add a single whole raspberry into the serving dish just before chilling.

Double Chocolate Mousse  - Grate in additional chocolate at the last minute.

Mocha Mousse – Ramp up the espresso content to 4 teaspoons and use Tia Maria, yum.  Can also make White Mocha Mousse, using white chocolate instead of dark chocolate.

Omitting the espresso, use white chocolate for an indulgent plain white chocolate mousse and add White Sheridan Liqueur to the mix– this is pretty sweet though!

Jaffa Mousse -  Add the zest of an orange as the chocolate is melting and use Cointreau in place of Brandy.

Choc-mint Mousse -  Add mint liqueur in place of Brandy (this is especially fab when frozen and eaten as an ice-cream).  Serve with mint leaves dusted in confectioners' sugar.

Nüss Mousse - Use Amaretto or hazelnut liqueur and serve topped with roasted nuts, or use the nut brittle recipe below to add crunch.

Nut Brittle : place nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, almonds)  on a baking sheet and sprinkle heavily with icing sugar (until all the nooks and crannies are filled).  Sprinkle over a little salt and bake in a 250°C oven for a just few minutes until the sugar bubbles up and forms a toffee.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before chopping and folding through the mousse. 

Presentation tip – If you melt a small portion each of white, dark and milk chocolate and drizzle into cocktail glasses it looks beautiful with the mousse inside and raspberries perched on top.

Chocolate Mousse

Mousse can be served in brandy-snap baskets, chocolate moulds or even meringue shapes.  Before adding the mousse, coat the inside of the baskets with melted chocolate to 'waterproof' them.  I also like to add a single whole raspberry, preferably frozen, to the centre of the mousse as this speeds up the chilling process and adds a little something to the finished mousse. 

Serve different mousses together, for flavour and colour!