Chocolate mousse is a perfect entertaining dessert - the ideal prepare-ahead recipe and certainly a crowd-pleaser (even the most disciplined individuals I know succumb to the sight of chocolate mousse...). Even though this recipe is best prepared a day in advance, a couple of hours in the fridge will suffice if you are at your wits' end. Use your favourite variety of plain dark eating chocolate and choose a cocoa solid percentage to suit your taste. I use Whittaker’s® 50% cocoa dark chocolate as it is rich, well-rounded and not too sweet. However, if you like chocolate mousse more robust and with slightly more bitterness, use chocolate with 70% cocoa solids (or more). I recommend serving it unapologetically in a large family sized bowl but if you are out to impress, divide the mixture into pretty glasses or individual serving dishes.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (serves 6)
250g dark chocolate
60g unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated (preferably at room temperature)
Break up the chocolate a little and place it in a large heatproof bowl. Add the butter.
In a medium saucepan, cover the base with boiling water and set it over a low to medium heat.
Place the bowl with the chocolate and butter over the saucepan (making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl).
Melt the chocolate and butter slowly stirring with a spatula occasionally until smooth.
Remove from the heat and cool for a few minutes while you prepare the eggs.
Separate the eggs (whites into a large, clean dry bowl and the yolks into a medium heatproof bowl).
Whisk the egg yolks a little by hand then scoop a bit of the melted chocolate and butter mixture in and whisk until smooth.
Pour the yolk mixture back into the remaining melted chocolate and whisk by hand until smooth.
Beat the egg whites with electric beaters or mixer on a high speed until stiff peaks.
Add about a third of the whites to the chocolate mixture and gently whisk to loosen the mixture.
Using a large metal spoon or spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites until the mixture is uniform.
Pour the chocolate mousse into a medium size serving dish (the mixture is fairly runny so don't panic - it will set).
Alternatively, if you are dividing the mixture into six individual portions, take care not to knock all the air out.
Refrigerate until set (3 - 4 hours, but ideally overnight).