Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
8
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Perfecting a chocolate mousse seemed to take us forever. I was looking for a mousse that was rich, yet very definitely light, with a certain density about it. Also, I wanted to serve it freeform on a plate, but to do that the flavour had to be elegant… even smoky. This is what we finally came up with, thanks largely to the work of Sophie Cookes who was with us in the kitchen at the time. It needs to be served with something to counterbalance its intensity. Here I’ve chosen my favourite accompaniment – salty, almost burnt, caramel… and cream, of course.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
330g good-quality dark chocolate, in pieces
8 organic free-range eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
pinch sea salt

Salty caramel

Quantity Ingredient
250g caster sugar
375ml water
generous pinch sea salt

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and half the sugar together in a bowl until pale and thick. Slowly incorporate the melted chocolate.
  2. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, a third at a time, until evenly combined. Pour into a large bowl, cover and place in the fridge to set.
  3. For the salty caramel, place the sugar and 125ml water in a small heavy-based pan over a very low heat and, without stirring, allow the sugar to dissolve. Once dissolved, turn up the heat to fairly high and bring to the boil. Cook until the caramel begins to colour; this will take at least 5 minutes. When it starts to brown around the sides, watch it carefully – as it will then darken quite quickly.
  4. Once the caramel has reached a deep mahogany colour, quickly and carefully pour in the remaining 250ml water. Cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes to loosen the caramel and ensure that it doesn’t set hard. Finally throw in the salt, stir once or twice, then take off the heat. Pour into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool, then chill.
  5. To serve, spoon the chocolate mousse onto plates and serve with the salty caramel and cream.
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