|Home made chocolate mousse|
With a Labor Day dinner party fast approaching, I needed an easy cook, yet impressive, dessert recipe.
I followed this two part recipe for chocolate mousse from Brit chef Jamie Oliver's cookbook, "Happy Days with the Naked Chef." As far as I know, he does wear clothes in the kitchen...I think what he's actually referring to is that his recipes are pared down and quite elementary. (There's even a whole section in the cookbook dedicated to cooking with kids.)
I loved the photo of the Cheeky Chocolate Mousse because it was accompanied by these golden Sesame Seed Toffee Snaps. It looked scrumptious!
To save on time, I started with the Toffee Snaps: The recipe involved two ingredients (actually three if you include the 8-10tbsps of water). You can't go wrong with this one, I thought. Can you..?
I messed up.
When following the instructions, I was surprised by how unspecific they were. The instructions included "carry on cooking until light golden brown." For some reason my syrup never turned golden brown. I kept cooking for around 5 minutes and nothing much happened. Why couldn't the recipe state an approximate length of time to give me some indication of how long I should be standing over the pan watching my syrup change color?
I got bored so I moved on to the next stage in the recipe and waited for the sesame seeds themselves to turn deep golden brown. They never did.
I'm still puzzled about what went wrong.
Can only say that they didn't turn out like this:
Instead I created this monstrous mess:
It was with some trepidation that I made the Cheeky Chocolate Mousse. But I needn't have worried. This was a dream.
Light, fluffy and uber-chocolatey.
I switched out the Amaretto, because I didn't have any, and added a generous glug of whiskey instead, which gave the sweet mousse a nice kick.
Would highly recommend this one, although I'd agree with Jamie that it needs to be served with a cookie or something with a crunchy texture.
My next job today is to make "Grandma's Ginger Snaps." (I found a popular recipe on www.allrecipes.com, one of my favorite recipe sites.) I think the peppery ginger will provide a great contrast to the mousse.
Will let you know how I get on!
Cheeky Chocolate Mousse
(Recipe says it serves four. It fed eight comfortably and I thought the portion size was very generous!)
8oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
5 tbsps butter
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Amaretto
2 tablespoons honey
1. In a bowl over some gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter
2. In another bowl semi-whip the cream. You want to create soft peaks. Don't over whip
3. In yet another bowl (yes, there's a lot of washing up involved here), whisk the eggs and the honey until air bubbles appear.
4. Gently fold the chocolate and the whipped cream into the egg and honey mixture. Go gently. You want to keep as much air in the mousse as possible, to ensure that it stays light and fluffy.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, Overnight is even better.
If you'd like to try some of Jamie's other recipes, you can buy "Happy Days with the Naked Chef" from Amazon.com.