If I were to select my preferred dessert, a classic mousse au chocolat – or chocolate mousse – would come out tops every time. Decadently chocolatey with a silky texture, mousse au chocolat makes the perfect post-dinner treat; not too filling, but just the right amount of sweetness to end off the meal.
A more adult Easter treat than chocolate eggs or bunnies, I developed my version of a classic mousse au chocolat using a combination of milk and dark chocolate, with the latter toning down the saccharine sugariness of the dessert with signature cocoa-scented bitterness. As with most after-dinner enjoyments, this mousse au chocolat is made to be paired with an equally satisfying libation. Here, I’ve partnered with Backsberg Family Wines to pair their Premium Merlot 2019 with my mousse au chocolat – with the wine’s mid-palate of sweet raspberry and red plum complemented by chocolate flavours from careful oak aging. As beautifully smooth as the mousse itself, Backsberg’s Merlot is my choice of red to see in the winter season with.
Classic Mousse au Chocolat
Cook’s Tip: use pasteurised eggs to ensure safe eating for the whole family.
You will need:
- 180ml chilled heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks plus two egg whites
- 60ml brewed espresso, at room temperature
- Pinch of sea salt
- 45ml caster sugar
- 90g good quality milk chocolate, reserving a block
- 90g good quality dark chocolate, reserving a block
Beat 125ml of cream in a chilled glass or ceramic bowl until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Combine the egg yolks with the espresso, salt and 30ml of caster sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. For about a minute, whisk the mixture constantly until its lighter in colour and doubled in volume. Remove the bowl from the heat and break in the milk and dark chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate has melted and leave to sit, whisking occasionally, until the mixture reaches room temperature.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. With the beater running, gradually add in the remaining caster sugar. Set the beater to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Working in two batches, use a spatula to fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Blend half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and divide the mousse between 4-6 ramekins or small dessert dishes. Refrigerate the mousse until firm – usually about 2-3 hours.
Prior to serving, whisk the remaining heavy cream to soft peaks and top each mousse with a dollop. Use a fine grater to grate over the reserved chocolate blocks and serve the mousse.