Previously on Pudding Club: Pear and Ginger cake / Chocolate/Chestnut torte / Beef Wellington canapés / Crème renversée au caramel
Chocolate mousse for me has a number of associations. My short-term Swiss boyfriend / sugar-daddy when I lived in Paris ((that’s quite a little fact to drop into conversation, n’est-ce pas?)) once told me that it is the only dessert that it is acceptable to eat with a spoon – all other desserts, protocol insists, should be eaten with a pastry fork. That’s a little dogmatic.
Scroll forward to 2005, and the Cheadle by-election, where we had a group of us living in a holiday let whilst working hard to get Mark Hunter elected. For a couple of nights we took it in turn to cook and we went to various degrees of OTT when it came to the meals, complicated by dietary requirements that included a veggie who ate fish, and a lactose intolerant. Chocolate mousse was someone else’s recipe that impressed everyone, including me, but she modestly explained it wasn’t difficult, and at the time, no-one quite believed her. Particularly since, in a holiday let, we only had fairly basic cooking kit, including no electric whisk.
Chocolate mousse also features regularly on Come Dine With Me in various exciting forms, including combinations of mousse – white, dark, coffee – and with various different accompaniments.
So all of this was a little in my mind when I tried to make chocolate mousse as one of the puds during our February Scottish holiday.
And it went fine, and was ridiculously easy, even with only a manual whisk. For two, chocolate mousse was most of a 200 gram bar of chocolate and two eggs. Melt the chocolate. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the melted chocolate, ensuring it’s not hot enough to cook them. Beat the whites until you get stiff peaks, and combine with the chocolate mix. Pour into serving vessels and chill.
For the finishing touch, I melted some white chocolate and laced it onto the top of the mousse:
So with this triumph fresh in my mind, I resolved to make chocolate mousse for the next outing of Pudding Club. And with that decision made, when we were touring a flea market in Callander the following day, I picked up a rather kitsch set of espresso cups, rather more with desserts in mind than actual espresso.
When it came to making mousse for four, I upped the numbers to 4 eggs, and 400 grams of chocolate, using a mix of dark and milk chocolate for the mousse. The white chocolate drizzle plan did not come to fruition – it transpires if you buy expensive white chocolate instead of the cheap stuff, it’s very hard to get it to the right consistency.