White chocolate mint mousse and what I didn’t get for Valentine’s day
No flowers, no chocolates, no card, no swanky meal out, no champagne. Not on February 14th anyway. My husband is an easy-going chap with a very sunny disposition but there are two things that make him dig his heels in. Valentine’s day is the first. Not a hearts and flowers type of man in the first place, he rebels against being forced to make a grand gesture on an appointed day (by marketing people in his opinion) and I don’t feel at all hard done by on this point. I adore surprises and I’d rather go out on the day of our choice when prices in restaurants are not inflated and love to receive a gift when I’m least expecting it.
His second turn-off is tiny food. If we are invited to a party he will always quiz me about what I think the food will be like. He hates ‘nibbles’ and canapés; hearty food is his choice and he perks up if he spots a shawarma stand or a curry when we arrive somewhere (especially where he’d been expecting vol-au-vents or spring rolls all night). Beautiful dainty morsels on spoons or on cocktail sticks leave him cold.
The only dish that he really gets excited about in a small format are these white chocolate mint mousses. They are my stand-by dessert and I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t scrape the glass and lick the spoon. I always make spare because they are so tempting just one more tiny taste is called for.
So what did I get on Valentine’s day? A happy husband and lots of love and appreciation – we went on a nice walk together with the dogs. The mousse is all gone.
This recipe is hardly adapted at all from Nigella Lawson’s Express, except for maybe a drop or two more of peppermint essence. It’s readily available on the internet on the BBC food site and you can print off a copy there.
White chocolate and mint mousse
250g/9oz white chocolate, broken into small pieces
250ml/9fl oz double cream
1 free-range egg white
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
6 fresh mint leaves to decorate
- Put the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until the chocolate melts, stirring gently with a spatula every now and then. When it’s melted, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down a little. If you try melting it in the microwave be extremely careful – it can seize in an instant!
- In another bowl whip the cream, egg white and peppermint essence together (I wouldn’t do this by hand). You want a softly peaking, rather than stiff mixture.
- Add a large dollop of cream to the slightly cooled chocolate and mix together to loosen. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the cream.
- Divide the mixture among six small glasses with a capacity of about 60ml. My shot glasses are smaller than this and I get about 9 mousses in all.
- Chill the mousses in the fridge or give them a fast icy zap by putting them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Once chilled, if using mint leaves, decorate each top with a leaf just before serving.
I’m sending this into the Monthly Mingle – the brainchild of Meeta from What’s for lunch, Honey? and hosted by Paulchen’s food blog this month. Astrid’s theme was Small bites – soul food for your loved ones….well, you can imagine how flummoxed that got me until I remembered these! Do you revel in small morsels or is your idea of food fuelled romance more substantial?