Friday, 18 January 2013

Death by Chocolate Mousse

Death by Chocolate Mousse
17 January 2013

Death is never a comfortable topic of conversation.  And the comfort level drops even more when your own mortality comes into play.  To quote Woody Allen, “It’s not that I’m scared of dying – I just don’t want to be there when it happens”.  But assuming I have to go to the big gig in the sky one day, this is how I’d like to go – Death By Chocolate Mousse.

Chocolate Mousse is pretty much always awesome.  I mean what’s not to like?  It melts in your mouth and it’s just so very chocolatey.  Always perfect.  Always magical.  Or so I thought.  That was until I became a convert.  A purist.  To be honest, I am newly reformed and hence I’m still floating on a bed of taste euphoria.  Or perhaps it’s chocolate Nirvana?  No, I’ve got it – chocolate Eutopia.  Sound perfect to you?  Well, it is!

So this is how it all began.  I thought that I’d try something uber yummy for Christmas for us at home.  The most delectable pudding on earth if you like.  What to do?  What to do?  It didn’t take long to reach the obvious conclusion – it would have to be a chocolate something or other.  I mean who doesn’t like chocolate?  And if you’re going to do chocolate, then mousse was the perfect answer.  But bear one very critical point in mind – I’m not the best chef around.

And here’s the thing - apart from the crappy instant type mousse’s that you can buy at the shops where you just add milk, cream or Orley whip, I didn’t have a recipe.  And for Christmas, instant would simply not do.  So I did the obvious thing – I googled recipes.  Beeeg mistakes.  Why?  Because there’s like over 4 000 000 recipes.  How do you choose the best one?  So, I went with the top one – Gordon Ramsay’s.  Sounded easy enough to do and the whole “4 minute chocolate mousse” thing really had me going.  Until I read some reviews.  And these varied from “best mousse ever” to “worst mousse ever”.  Oops!  So, I went on to Jamie’s recipe, which seemed far too tricky for my limited skills.

And then I had a happy accident.  I came across a blog – entirely dedicated to finding the best chocolate mousse recipe.  It’s called “Gourmantine’s Blog”.  Some genius person went and tried all of these incredible recipes, took pics along the way, rated the difficulty, as well as the taste – voila!  As mentioned before – pure genius!  And the winner in top spot, was NOT Gordon Ramsay’s. Though he did make the list.  More importantly to me though, was the second runner-up.  Nigella Lawson’s winning recipe.  It was a true winning combo to me – it looked both do-able and delectable.  Nothing too complicated or difficult.  Even the ingredients were simple and easy.  In fact I was convinced I’d be able to pull it off and successfully too.

And I’m happy to report back that I did.  It is without a doubt the single nicest dessert I have ever eaten.  In.  My.  Whole.  Life.  For real.  And since the 25th of December when I first made it, I have made it a further two times as well.  Pudding for ten for my 40th Birthday meal and pudding for twenty at my Mom-in-law’s 70th.  A resounding success on all these occasions. 

And on my last attempt, I took photos along the way.  Just to illustrate the ease and yummy-ness to you.  Such a pity that the scent and taste cannot be transported to you across the web.

However before I include the pics, best I include the recipe too.  All credit given to the beautiful and talented Nigella Lawson.  She’s the chocolate bomb.

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cooking time:  5 minutes
Yet I am able to successfully stretch this out to at least an hour.  Sometimes even longer.  It’s kind of a gift I’ve got.

250g dark chocolate chopped into little bits
150g marshmallows – also chopped into little bits (this is quite time consuming, yet must be done – otherwise the chocolate melts before the mallows and you risk burning the whole lot)
50g butter
60ml boiling water
280ml cream (Uh, hello! Cream comes in 250ml tubs and hence I only used 250ml – what’s 30ml between friends?)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1)  Chuck all of the chopped up marshmallows, choccie bits, butter and boiling water into a pot – put it on the stove over low heat and stir until everything is all gooey and melted together – careful not to burn it all.  Would be a dreadful waste of chocolate.
2)  Remove from heat and let it cool a bit.
3)  While the choc mush is cooling, whip up the cream and the vanilla essence in a different bowl until thick – or thick-ish.
4)  Pour the cream and vanilla mix into the choc mush and stir it all together – until it’s all combined and one colour.
5)  Pour the very runny mousse (I worried here, but there’s no need – it will set) into individual little serving dishes like ramekins or something.  Alternatively into a big bowl.
6)  Pop in the fridge and eat once it’s set.  It doesn’t take too long.

Once you’ve done that and the mousse is ready, admire it, sit back, relax, eat and enjoy. 

If heaven had a flavour – this would be it.

The "raw materials" for one batch of mousse

All the ingredients except for the cream and vanilla essence popped into a pot - here I was busy making a triple batch

Starting to get all melted and gooey now

Nearly all smooth and melted

All perfectly melted - it smells indescribable

Awaiting the addition of the whipped up cream and vanilla essence combo

At first it always looks as if it will never combine

See - it's perfect!

Divided into individual portions - my triple batch made enough to fill 9 little cocktail glasses, 11 ramekins and there was still more left over to make a bigger bowl too

Looking ever so good and edible too

A wee bit of garnishing berries and mint leaves on the top makes all the difference

Please bear witness to my genius in making these. Hugely successful each and every time. In fact I'm starting to feel compelled to whip up a batch tomorrow again. Join me why don't you  - and make some too. You won't regret it - I promise.

1 comment:

  1. Delicious - to be a Muisnes favourite for sure!