Some days bring you a culinary epiphany.
Several weeks ago I had such a day. I was lamenting in conversation with a friend, about how my boyfriend is allergic to egg whites, and how that deprives him of chocolate mousse. My friend Nils replied incredulously: “… but why would you ever need eggs for chocolate mousse? You only need…”
And there it was, my chocolate mousse epiphany.
Because, apparently (to me now!), when it is stripped down, chocolate mousse only has two ingredients. Four if you want it to be luxurious. I did – it was made for Valentine’s Day, and T deserves all there is wonderful in the world. Every day, actually. But, I digress.
This mousse has no eggs. But despite that, it really does have it all – it’s light (in texture, people!), it sets beautifully, it is easy to make, it literally melts on your tongue into a whisper and a kiss of chocolatey bliss – and it can be made with anything from milk to 70% dark chocolate, with brilliant results. I imagine you could go darker if you are a serious chocaholic! I have not tried it with white, but that should definitely be attempted! It can be dressed up with vanilla and a tablespoon or two of your favorite booze, or orange zest or – your imagination is the limit here, but understand this – it does not need these adornments. It is perfectly perfect on its own, with its two ingredients: whipping quality cream (36-40% fat), and good quality chocolate. Everything else is frills.
If you want the mousse stiffer and chocolatier, use more chocolate (though I think the 100g specified for 70% cocoa chocolate is pretty chocolatey!), and if you want it softer and silkier, go with a bit more cream. Incidentally, if you use the darker chocolate, this is also fairly (for a luxury dessert!) LCHF-friendly and low-GI, and so also diabetic-friendly! Not much sugar in the dark chocolate, and little or none (depends on vanilla sugar) gets added in the making!
The recipe and method could not be simpler. (You will need an electric mixer with whipping blades unless you are really, really pro with a whisk and have strong arms!)
This will fill two large ramekins, or 2.5 of the non-standard sized ones pictured.
- 2 dl whipping cream
- 100g chocolate of your choice – the mousse in the photo was made using 70% cocoa, but if you like milk chocolate, go for it! Just buy the good dessert-quality stuff!
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar (the stuff with real vanilla) – optional!
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite liqueur or alcohol – I used Jack Daniels here. Entirely optional as well.
How to do it – you will need to do this 3-4 hours to allow the mousse to set properly. It may do so faster or slower depending on the fat content of your cream and chocolate.
- Put chocolate into a bowl over a water bath (double boiler), so that it does not touch the water. Bring water to low simmer and stir chocolate occasionally till it has nearly melted. Take off heat and allow to melt completely and cool slightly.
- In the meantime, whip the cream. Add vanilla sugar mid-whipping (before it is in soft peaks), and alcohol once the cream reaches the soft peak stage. Mix a few seconds more to incorporate.
- Pour the melted chocolate in while whipping the cream further. The mixture will thicken quickly – beat until it is in stiff peaks.
- Scoop or pipe into ramekins. I simply scooped it in, and smoothed the top with the back of a teaspoon.
- Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to set.
Decorate with fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream, or whatever floats your boat. This is amazing with a glass of port wine, if that is to your liking.