With Valentine's Day coming up, I had to look around for a suitable dessert. Not so much because I like to go all out for Valentine's for DP (which I kinda do) but mainly for all the related blog events I knew I'd be wanting to enter. DP and I don't celebrate the day itself as such - he's not a fan of "Hallmark Holidays" so mostly it's just me, making an effort to make foods he likes for dinner. I was hoping to make something choc orange flavour, because DP likes Jaffas, and while these Jaffa Lamingtons over at Sunday Hotpants did cross my mind, I ended up going with a decadent chocolate mousse recipe. Originally from "How to be a Man" by John Birmingham and Dirk Flinthart, (yes, of He Died With a Felafel In His Hand fame) I came across this recipe in "How to be her Kitchen Love God: A Cosmopolitan Cookbook for Men" by Anna Maxted & Karen Collier, a most disappointing cookbook whose redeeming factors were exclusively extracts from the above masculinity guide.
Still, the few recipes I bookmarked looked almost good enough to make up for the rest of it. The recipe calls for brandy, which I thought I could swap out for Triple Sec or Cointreau, only to find I was all out of orange-y liquers, so I used Creme de Cacao instead (skipping the coffee beans)
Satan's Own Chocolate Mousse
The introductory paragraph from the book
1 Tbsp brandy per person
6 coffee beans
one egg per person
240ml double cream per person, plus extra 240ml for every two people
150g dark chocolate per person
Prepare the brandy 24 hours in advance by soaking six good quality coffee beans in it.
Break the eggs, separating the whites from the yolks. Put the yolks away, add one dessertspoon of sugar for each egg to the egg whites, and whisk them until they stand up in stiff, frothy peaks. Put the whipped egg whites in the fridge.
Now whip 240ml of cream per person, with just a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a dessertspoon of sugar for every 480ml of cream. Whip it until, like the egg whites, it forms stiff peaks. Gently, carefully, thoroughly fold the cream into the bowl containing the egg whites, and refrigerate the lot.
Break up all the chocolate. Put the remaining cream in a medium saucepan with the brandy (remove the coffee beans first) over a low heat. Stir in the chocolate and the egg yolks until you have a thick, smooth, dark sauce. Turn off the heat, and let the sauce come to just above room temperature.
Now gently fold the sauce through the egg whites and cream until the mixture is evenly coloured. Spoon into individual serving dishes, and refrigerate. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, some grated dark chocolate, and a couple of Italian sponge-finger biscuits.
I made chocolate baskets to serve this in, but had heaps of trouble getting them to stay hard in the heat we had today. I managed to plate one up this evening, after the cool change arrived, but for the meantime, I did my standard backup "fancy" plating - thank heavens for martini glasses!
To make chocolate baskets, melt chocolate, and spread in a circle on a sheet of plastic. Cut up ziplock bags work better than cling wrap because they are stronger and thinker, making it easier to work with. Once you have a large, even thickness circle, lift the plastic and drape it chocolate side up over a tall cup or glass. The width of the opening at the top of the glass will be the size of your base, so don't use a skinny glass like a champagne flute unless you are aiming for a chocolate vase and not basket. Likewise don't use a very large glass like a martini glass or your basket will look more like a plate.
This was an entry for
The Cookbook Challenge: Week 13 - Love.
This was also a Valentine's Dessert for Sweet Thursday, over at Simply Sweet Home