This has been an interesting blog to make. I made chocolate mousse six times. Twice to test out the video concepts (which will be on you-tube soon), tested two different recipes, and one to test out different camera lens and shooting technique and lastly. I learned that when working with chocolate that it is vital to follow instructions. DO not over heat it. And do not have the top part of double boiler touching the water in the bottom.
So, we have eaten a little bit too much chocolate mousse of late. I also have discovered that it is possible to get sick of chocolate. I will probably be eating my words at the end of the week when I go looking for some chocolate to eat.
There are three things that are vital to a good mousse; they are Cream, eggs and chocolate.
Good quality dark chocolate I found gave a very rich flavour. Cream, a good organic whipping cream is preferable. Cream from happy cows.
Last but not least, the eggs.
To me, this is the vital one because you are eating the eggs raw, you want healthy eggs from healthy hens who live in clean environments.
I grew up on a self-sufficient farm; we had approximately 100 chooks, (or hens, or chickens or fowl. Depends on where in the world you live).
They were totally free range. They ran amok. They were only in the hen house at night or when they were laying or broody. For those that do not know what a broody hen is. It is when she sits on her eggs waiting for them to hatch, the expectant mother. And some of them were just plain nasty when they were broody, they could peck hole right through you hands if they were in the mood.
We had red hens, big black and white speckled ones, whites, ones, all sorts. If you have never owned a hen, well your life is incomplete.
They have the most wonderful varied personalities, just like people.
There was always a few rogue hens. They would lay their eggs in the hedge or, be the last into bed, or have to investigate the back porch and poop by the back door much to my father’s disapproval.
I remember one lot of hens, 3 of them to be precise. They would roost in the big old pine trees at night. And they had to do it in a New Zealand winter, in the coldest time of the year. My mother would get me and my little brother to go out with her in the dark and cold to get these hens out of the tree. She would make us climb the tree while shining the dolphin torch up for us to see. We had to grab these hens and bring them down. So we climbed the tree in the dark to grab the hens, then climb down. How we never fell, I will never know. And we would be barefoot as well. We did this for three weeks till the hens were trained that they had to go into the hen house at night. And this happened more than once.
There are many more stories I could write about about the hens. But I think we need to move on to the eggs. I only ever ate free range and healthy eggs from hens that foraged naturally. Like the ones, I used for this blog. The ones from Gunning bum nuts, please check out their website and facebook page for more info on their hens.
I never had a caged egg till I came to Australia and I never could believe that hens were kept in cages; in horrid conditions. When you have eaten free range organic eggs for a big part of your life, you can taste and see the difference in the eggs. I always try to buy local eggs and from hens treated the way they should be able to live, happy and healthy, scratching around in the dirt. You know, just chooks being chooks. With their heads downs and fluffy bums in the air, just scratching in the dirt eating grubs and whatever takes their fancy.
I would love to have some hens now, but sadly I am away from home for work and health reasons too often, I could not care for them properly. And it is simply not fair on the animals, so I have to source my eggs elsewhere.
The recipes I made were from the New Zealand Edmonds cookbook and the 1998 Family Circle ~ Cooking a commonsense guide.
Both very different, but both very tasty. Which was my favorite one? Neither. Both were divine. See notes on the recipes
So for a few ingredients you get such a rich, delectable dessert. Something that just melts in the mouth. And so easy to make.
So give it a whirl, make some mousse. Tantalise those taste buds.
And buy free range organic eggs from happy hens. Support your local farmers and small businesses, your community will thank you for it.
- 150 grams cooking chocolate
- 4 eggs, separated
- 300 ml cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Break chocolate into the top of a double boiler. Stir over hot water until chocolate has melted.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- Stir yolks into chocolate. Beat until thick and smooth.
- Beat cream until thick. Fold chocolate mixture into cream.
- Beat egg whites till stiff but not dry. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and glossy.
- Fold half egg white mixture into chocolate mixture until well mixed. Repeat with remaining egg white mixture.
- Pour into four or six individual dishes or one large one. Chill until firm. Serve decorated with whipped cream and chocolate.
- Serves 4-6
- This is a very soft and fluffy mixture.
- I whipped the egg whites first and set aside, then I whipped the cream and set aside. I whipped the egg yolks a bit then added the chocolate.
- 250 gram (8 oz) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar (60 grams/2ounces) sugar
- 1 cup cream (250 ml/ 8 fl oz cream), softly whipped
- Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and place the bowl over the pan, making sure it is not sitting in the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
- Using electric beaters, beat eggs and sugar in small bowl for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, pale and increased in volume.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Using a metal spoon, fold in the melted chocolate and then leave the mixture to cool.
- Fold in the whipped cream until just combined.
- Spoon into four 250 ml ramekins or dessert glasses and refrigerate for two hours, or until set.