How much love can you put into chocolate mousse?
Is it higher self-confidence levels or just a trend that has turned all the teenage girls I know (including my own) into rather demonstrative drama queens? In my day cool meant a measured voice, a sardonic or witty one-liner, icy nonchalance, a faraway look, a raised eyebrow. We were posers (or poseurs) of the highest order. Shopping in Oxfam, swathed in Grandpa’s long coat and Grandma’s old shoes; David Bowie spoke of Kierkegaard and ‘a kettle of poissons’, Sid Vicious sneered at the world and New Romantics took posturing to another level. You wouldn’t have seen Siouxsie Sioux grinning.
Now cool is exuberance, over-the-top exclamations “O!M!G!”. Hugs all round with arms thrown dramatically apart. The smallest occurence becomes a monumental event to be repeated and exaggerated often at volume. However there are some universal truths. Parents are still mortally embarrassing when you are with your mates and there’s more than a touch of self-obsession about every teen.
It was ever thus as I remember, to my mortification, asking my Mother to park the car round the corner when collecting me from the disco. It took me over half an hour to put on my elaborate eye make-up and fewer things were more important than getting the next record I was obsessing over from Driftin’ (Albion Street, Cheltenham).
So driving my daughter to the coach for her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh desert challenge early Friday morning went like this: “We mustn’t be late”….”Nobody’s here – can we drive round a bit?” …”oh so-and-so’s arrived”…. quick hug … “love you Mum – you can go now“!
Collecting her the next day is another matter. A night in a tent on the desert floor, 24 kilometres of trudging through sand with a heavy backpack after eating Pot Noodle (don’t ask!) means she is extremely pleased to see me. ‘I’m so tired Mum – what’s for supper?’
This is where the maximum amount of love goes into cooking. I’d spent a couple of hours in the kitchen the day before making a huge simmering pot of ragout for spaghetti Bolognese so the flavours could improve overnight and some sweet little chocolate mousses which also benefit from the same treatment.
“Love you Mum”.
These mousses are a Nigella Lawson recipe meant for children, but the milder taste appeals to non-dark lovers, my husband thinks they are the best ever…
For more seductive chocolate recipes inspired by La Lawson, pop over to Maison Cupcake around February 22nd-ish for her Forever Nigella Seduced by Chocolate round-up (worth reading Sarah’s exuberant blog at anytime actually).
These ingredients and recipe for this mousse are so simple I’ve hardly tinkered – you can find it in Nigella’s seminal ‘How to eat‘ (I always want to answer ‘with a knife and fork’) one of my most well-thumbed and cooked-from tomes.
Children’s chocolate mousse – (slightly adapted from How to eat by Nigella Lawson)
100g good quality milk chocolate (try to get over 40% cocoa solids)*
1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 eggs, separated (organic, free-range recommended)**
- Put the chocolate, broken into pieces, boiling water and golden syrup into a large heatproof bowl. If you measure the boiling water first and then quickly follow with the golden syrup it will just slide off the spoon.
- Microwave on medium heat for about 3 minutes until the chocolate is melted (or suspend over a pan of hot water).
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff, beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture one by one until well combined and smooth.
- Put a dollop of the whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture and stir fairly briskly to loosen it. You can then gently fold the rest of the egg whites in using a metal spoon. Be quite thorough and you need to scrape along the bottom of the bowl to combine properly, but don’t stir all the air out, you want to keep the lovely bubbles in.
- Use a spatula to ease the mixture into a clean bowl or spoon into individual ramekins or tumblers. Leave for at least 6 hours in the fridge.
* Note: I used Valor chocolate from Choitrams.
** It is not recommended that raw eggs are eaten by pregnant women or vulnerable people due to the risk of salmonella. As for feeding to children, personal choice prevails (there are egg-less mousse recipes available).
Serve and wait for the hugs.