Chocolate is one of those ingredients that, every now and then, simply must feature in the life of any respectable person – not including those of you who, physically or medically, can’t ingest or digest it. It really is the height of decadence and as such is one of those entities, for I am loath to call it an ingredient, that will never become cliché, or over used. Simply put, chocolate is astounding and has been for centuries. Quite honestly, if you are not a fan of chocolate I’m a little unsure about what you’re playing at.
The brilliance of chocolate becomes more and more apparent to me every time I use it – perhaps this is why my recipes which include chocolate always seem to be simpler than the last. It really isn’t something that needs a whole lot of excess baggage piled onto it, and should be treated with utter respect. Indeed, I think anyone would struggle to find a simpler chocolate based recipe than this, short of eating plain chocolate.
There is something very pleasing about the consistency of a mousse, be it chocolate or otherwise. It really is rather incredible that something so light and pleasing to one’s innards could be quite so devilishly delicious. This combination of bubble-like consistency coupled with the intense taste of chocolate makes this dessert, in my narrow mind, the perfect dinner party sweet.
In order to achieve this ideal, one must seek out what they consider to be a fairly decent chocolate. Luckily for me, decent chocolate appears to be plentiful in Britain with even the cheapest chocolate being fairly acceptable. However, it has also become apparent that the same cannot be said of other countries. During visits to numerous countries in Europe it has become clear that in some of them it is rather difficult to find reasonably priced chocolate that isn’t composed largely of milk – chocolate which would prove unsuitable for this recipe. This observation appears to be, on the whole, transferable to America also. At any rate, wherever you are, make sure that you’ve tried and tested your chosen chocolate and that it contains cocoa solids of absolutely no less than 55%, though 70% would be preferable.
• 200g dark chocolate
• 100ml water
• 4 eggs
• 1-2 tbsp caster sugar, depending on strength of chocolate
1. Melt the chocolate together with the water either in a microwave or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate one by one.
2. Transfer the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and beat until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the point at which they begin to form harder, stiffer peaks – be careful not to over beat. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts. When fully incorporated transfer the mixture into vessels of one’s own choice, bung them in the fridge and serve after an hour or so.
Cost: Since chickens reside in my garden, the only cost I incurred as a result of this mousse was what was paid for the chocolate. In this case dessert enough for perhaps ten set me back a mere 70p. What an absolute bargain even if one must factor in the cost of one’s eggs.
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