Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Mousse

Have I mentioned that I'm vehemently against going out for Valentine's Day dinner? The pork chop restaurant next to my house that normally does $50 tonkatsu takeout jacked up prices to over $450 for a multi-course set dinner. It's not even the kind of place you should be taking anyone on V-day.

So we decided this year, in order to retain the romantic quality of the day but eschew the commercialization, we'd cook. But there's a limit to how much you can do on a weekday, ergo: enter 15-minute chocolate mousse, a recipe nicked from Jamie's 30-minute meals, found here. It's the richest thing EVER, if you use the right chocolate. We get ours from I Heart Cake on Wanchai Road. Our adapted version of the recipe follows, sans the fruit but with a load of orange zest.

2 100 gram bars of good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
a small knob of butter
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
a splash of Grand Marnier
orange zest
cocoa powder, for dusting

Leave the chocolate bars in their wrappers and smash them against the counter. Get a large serving bowl and 2 mixing bowls out. Tip the chocolate chunks into a heatproof mixing bowl with the butter, then place over the pan of simmering water and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the nice serving bowl with 300ml of cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract and whip until silky with soft peaks. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the whipped cream and the whites to the empty mixing bowl. Gently mix through, then put aside.

Add a pinch of salt to the whites and whisk really well until stiff (test it by holding it over your head!) By now the chocolate should be melted, so spoon it into the bowl of whipped cream with a swig of your favourite liqueur and the orange zest and stir through. Gently fold the egg whites through with a spatula, then put into the freezer to set.

Before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder and top with chocolate shavings (use a vegetable peeler on a regular chocolate bar).

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