This is the lightest, most delicious chocolate mousse I have ever tasted – melt in the mouth, instantly gratifying and inexpensive to make. Simplicity is the essence. Such is the genius of Maman Blanc.
Prepare half a day in advance and refrigerate to set.
Preparation: 20 mins, plus 6 hours chilling
Special equipment: electric mixer
165g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
8 organic/free-range medium egg whites
¼ tsp lemon juice
20g caster sugar
To make the chocolate mousse
Melt the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. To avoid overheating, make sure the bottom of the bowl is not in direct contact with the simmering water. At 90°–95°C cocoa solids begin to solidify and grain.
In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice on a medium speed, until they form soft peaks. Then switch to high speed and gradually whisk in the sugar. There is a very little sugar in this recipe as the chocolate will provide some. If using a chocolate with a higher cocoa solid content you will need to add more sugar to the mousse. Always taste all your ingredients before you start.
Continue to whisk until you reach firm peaks. Take a third of the egg whites and briskly whisk them into the hot melted chocolate – adding the cold egg whites to the warm chocolate must be done quickly and briskly because you are adding a cold mass (egg whites) to a hot mass (chocolate), and there is a risk that the cocoa butter within the chocolate will solidify, leaving you with a lumpy, grainy mousse.
Then immediately fold in the remaining egg whites using a large spatula. Don’t over-mix at this stage or you will lose air and lightness, resulting in a much heavier mousse.
Pour the mousse into individual serving bowls or glasses and leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours before serving. Between 6 and 12 hours is the ideal setting time. Beyond 12 hours the mousse will be much heavier, as the cocoa butter within the chocolate will set and firm up the mousse.
Variation: This mousse can be baked in ramekins in a preheated oven at 200°C/Gas 6 for 3 minutes and served warm. Simple and delicious.
For more recipes, visit www.raymondblanc.com