You don’t need me to tell you this, but chocolate and orange make a damn fine couple – formed between them is an enticing middle ground equidistant from sweet, citrus and bitter. Together they possess something instantly mouth-watering – perhaps it’s the pervasive aroma of orange, combined with the knowledge of incoming cocoa. Whatever the reason, chocolate orange mousse is a fabulous dessert that oozes luxury and decadence from every air pocket, yet it contains a mere five ingredients – one of which is water.
Everyone has a go-to dessert, a signature dish that never fails to impress. For me, it has to be chocolate mousse – it’s almost impossibly light, extremely flavoursome and devilishly naughty. Of course, producing the same dish ad infinitum would get rather boring, but mousse has a rather fine ace up its proverbial (and perfectly tailored) sleeve – simple variation. It’s so easy to completely alter the flavour profile of this popular dessert that it never has to get old. Take my mocha mousse, for example – by replacing the water with coffee you instantly add a new dimension to the recipe, one that complements and improves as it goes. The same goes for the orange syrup in this recipe – delicious to the last spoonful.
However, experimentation needn’t finish there – why not give these little pots of wonder an end-of-season twist and substitute the orange for blood orange (like I did). This would be great for those of you who would rather a slightly more bitter dessert, as opposed to the incredible sweetness of a perfectly ripe orange.
For those of you who are a little tentative about using raw eggs, don’t worry – you’ll not come to any harm. As long as you don’t rub your egg whites with egg shell (the area most likely to contain salmonella) and ensure they are in date, nothing particularly bad will befall you… except perhaps a slight belly. Oh and don’t try to add double cream, please.
Chocolate Orange Mousse
• 200g dark chocolate (60-70%)
• 2 oranges
• 4 eggs
• 80ml hot water
• 2 tbsp caster sugar
1. Separate your eggs into two bowls. Zest your oranges and add it to the hot water, along with one tbsp of sugar. Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
2. After 10 minutes sieve the water/orange mixture into the chocolate and add the juice of half an orange and reincorporate half the zest. Place the mixing bowl over a pan with a little simmering water until the chocolate is just melted, whisk in the egg yolks one at a time and set aside.
3. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, add another tbsp of sugar and beat again until they form firmer peaks. Tip and fold this into the chocolate mixture, spoon into cups and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours to set. Enjoy within a day or so.
Cost: This chocolate mousse recipe may be decadent, but because it doesn’t contain any of that dreaded double cream (it destroys a good mousse), it remains pleasantly cheap. Indeed, even if you use a fairly decent brand of chocolate these pots of wonder should set you back a mere £2.60 – lovely.