an eighties boomerang: mousse
The key with anything of course is the quality of ingredients you start with. Chocolate mousse is particularly susceptible to shoddy components, so start by buying the best chocolate you can afford. I'd recommend Lindt 80% if you can lay your hands on it. Bourneville will work, but the result tends to be sweeter and less chocolatey than a proper Swiss-made dark chocolate bar (go for minimum 70% cocoa solids).
The next thing is to have some pretty bowls or glasses to serve it in. Mousse doesn't transport very well from a large serving dish to individual bowls, and looks much better presented individually. Lucky for me I've been to Morocco where I sourced these stunning ceramic and silver bowls, but to be honest in the past I've used tea cups, egg cups (a bit stingy on the serving size!) and wine glasses. So take your pick.
I made this Chocolate Mousse in a tearing hurry last week, to finish off roast chicken for ten. It was a safe bet, most people like chocolate. Apart from - wierdly - my Wiz, who can't bear it. Odd.
Having consulted The Guardian blog on said subject, I realised there is a lot more to chocolate mousse than first meets the eye. To use cream, or not to? To use cocoa or not to? I came to the same conclusion that they did: simple is best. Stick with the matriarch of European cookery, Elizabeth David, and use only chocolate, eggs and sugar. That is the easiest method. However, what I did do was add Darina Allen's method to beat it all at the end. Sacrilege I hear you say! What about the air?! Well, the air created from your beaten egg whites can sometimes make too bubbly a mousse, and I agree with Darina that the ideal result is somewhat smooth. So here goes...
225gms best quality chocolate
6 small or 4 large eggs
10gms butter (preferably unsalted)
1 tblspn Jamaican Rum
Put the butter and chocolate into a pyrex bowl above a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not in the water; the chocolate and butter need to be melted by the steam.
Meantime, separate your eggs and beat up the whites (it always sounds so violent, but keep beating until they are stiff). Take the chocolate off the heat once it's melted, and add the rum. Allow to cool a little before adding the yolks and beating to mix. Fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and once incorporated, beat it all for 5 - 6 minutes to result in a smooth mixture.
Pour into beautiful baculis (bowls), chill in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight if you are being super organised), and serve with a dollop of cream and a sprig of mint.