This is another great find from the BBC Good Food website. My previous experience of making chocolate mousse wasn't particularly successful as I tried Nigella's express version which involves using marshmallows rather than egg whites. There's nothing wrong with the marshmallow version but it's quite heavy and not what I was expecting from a mousse.
This version is much lighter but still incredibly rich thanks to the butter, egg yolks and chocolate. It's pretty unhealthy but the portion sizes are small (yet not so small that you feel cheated). Another bonus is that it's quick and easy to make; I prefer undemanding dessert recipes and despite having to whisk egg whites and melt chocolate, this is nice and straightforward.
You can add a tablespoon of Tia Maria, Cointreau, etc, if you prefer but it's fine without additional flavours. Just make sure to use a dark chocolate with 50% cocoa solids - if the cocoa percentage is higher then the mousse will be bitter and the texture less smooth.
The first time I made this it took a while for me to combine the chocolate with the whisked egg white and I felt like I'd taken all the air out of the mixture. It was still light but a good tip from one of the comments on the original recipe is to mix a tablespoon of the egg white with the chocolate to loosen it a little before folding.
Ideally the mousse should chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours but if you can't wait, an hour will do it.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Once melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir in the egg yolks.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and the sugar together until you have a stiff and shiny mixture. This took a few minutes to achieve with my hand held electric whisk.
- Mix a tablespoon of the egg white mixture into the chocolate to loosen it a little.
- Gently fold the melted chocolate into the egg white mixture (along with the alcohol if using) until everything has combined. Spoon into four glasses or ramekins. Top with the shaved chocolate and chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.
- If using fresh raspberries or strawberries, wait until the mousse has set before topping.