Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love hearts and more chocolate

"You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life."

Paul Child to Julia Child

Quoted from the movie Julie and Julia.

Yesterday we celebrated Valentine's Day or Love Day, as we call it in our house. We had a special dinner with candles and the good china. After recently watching Julie and Julia, I was inspired to make heart shaped badges for all of us to wear to the dinner table. The kids loved it.

The main meal, a chicken dish, was very ordinary, but the dessert, chocolate mousse was a hit.

I don't think I have ever made a chocolate mousse. I certainly ate my fair share of them throughout the eighties, both at restaurants and at dinner parties in our home, but I can't remember ever making my own.

When my husband and I first started going out, he tried to woo me with chocolate mousse. He made many attempts at the recipe, but he just couldn't get it right. Or so he said. I would often go over to his place and find the fridge door lined with little parfait glasses of chocolate mousse. But I wonder now? Was it just an excuse to keep all of the chocolate mousse to himself?

I can't remember if he ever did get it right or if I ever got to taste any of that mousse. What I do know is; that it turned me off ever making it.

Guess what, that was a big mistake! It is easy peasy, lemon squeezy, as my daughter would say.

It is my children's new favourite dessert. To say that they loved it, would be an understatement.

After about five minutes of silence, you know, that delicious silence when you know you have cooked something good. My husband and I looked into each others dessert dishes, then into the kids dishes and then looked at each other.

Two peas in a pod.

The boys eat their dessert this way. From the middle.

The girls eat their dessert this way. From the side.

An interesting observation....

However you eat it, I hope you enjoy it. It certainly took me for a trip down memory lane. I made it last night without any flavour additions. My mum usually added Tia Maria to hers. How do you like your chocolate mousse?

Chocolate Mousse

serves 6

• 200g dark cooking chocolate (roughly chopped)

• 30g unsalted butter

• 2 tablespoons Kahlua, Tia Maria, Cointreau or strong coffee (optional)
• 4 eggs (at room temperature - separated)

• 1 cup thickened cream (lightly whipped)

to serve

• extra whipped cream
• grated or shaved chocolate

• a strawberry fan (for retro nostalgia - optional)

Melt the chocolate, butter (and liqueur/coffee, if using) in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Using a metal spoon, stir until the chocolate has melted and is smooth and shiny. Remove bowl from the heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, stir constantly after each addition. Set aside to cool while you beat the egg whites. Beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form and set aside. Fold the cream into chocolate mixture then fold in egg whites in two batches. Divide mousse among 6 serving glasses or dishes. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Serve topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired.

Some notes:

• The eggs must be at room temperature for success with this recipe.

• The chocolate and butter mixture can be melted in the microwave.
• Chocolate mousse is not suitable to freeze.
• The Rose Bakery Classic Chocolate Mousse recipe uses
dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. Because this is a bitter chocolate, they add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to the the egg whites after after they have been whipped to soft peaks. - I might try that next time.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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