Not so long ago I went out for lunch with a friend to a local French restaurant and for dessert, we had the most delicious light, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate mousse. It was one of the highlights of our meal and got me thinking about making my own version of this delightful pudding.
Never being one to need an excuse to cook, bake or eat, I got on the case researching recipes. There are so many different methods of making chocolate mousse. Some very indulgent made with cream and others more virtuous made with ripe avocados. I decided the method I was going to adapt was using egg whites. I like simple recipes using few ingredients and this recipe really fits the bill. Raymond Blanc’s recipe was the original inspiration for this dessert although me being me I wanted to take it away from the typical French dessert and pimp it up a little with the flavours of Italy. You all know how I feel about Italy! So, when Seed & Bean got in contact about trying their chocolate I immediately said “yes”! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My choice of chocolate from their extensive range was the Mandarin and Ginger flavour. With mandarins being in abundance on a recent holiday to Sicily I knew this was the direction I wanted my recipe to take. The combination of chocolate and orange is well documented and has a little twist on that with the mandarin made it feel all the more special.
Keeping with the Italian vibe I decided to top my mousse with a dollop of creamy mascarpone cheese and some candied orange peel. Candied fruits are in abundance in Italy, especially Sicily and seem to adorn every sweet treat going. Think cassata or cannoli and you will know what I mean. In fact, I have a rather wonderful cassata recipe on the blog so click here to be transported to that recipe for a bit of inspiration.
This recipe is very simple to make and takes minutes to prepare. Just be reminded that it does need at least two hours to set in the fridge so it’s definitely a make-ahead dessert. You could even make it the day before and chill overnight and it would be perfectly fine.
I served my chocolate mousse alongside some chilled Marsala and it went down a storm at a recent dinner party. Definitely give this recipe a try. I really don’t think you will be disappointed with the result.
- 170g good-quality dark chocolate, minimum 60 per cent cocoa solids, roughly chopped. I used Seed & Bean Mandarin and Ginger.
- 7 free-range egg whites
- ¼ tsp lemon juice
- 40g caster sugar
- Mascarpone cheese
- Candied orange peel. I got mine from Buy Whole-foods Online.
- Grated chocolate
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water).
- Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a large, clean bowl until they form soft peaks. The lemon juice will stabilise the egg whites, make them easier to work with and help to prevent over-whisking.
- Add the sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- When the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the hot chocolate quickly until thick and well combined. Mix in the rest of the egg whites.
- Transfer to pretty dishes and pop in the fridge for at least two hours but preferably longer.
- Top each mousse with a dollop of mascarpone cheese, chopped candied orange peel and an extra grating of chocolate and enjoy!