While many of us wouldn't need an excuse to indulge ourselves in a little chocolate luxury every now and then, Easter has very much become the time of year when we all like to treat not only ourselves but family and friends with some form of cocoa-based delicacy.
For chocoholics, tucking into a tasty chocolate bar or rich pudding isn't something they would ever complain about, while many would agree any day with chocolate is a good day!
So as we approach the Easter holidays, lots of people up and down the country will be making plans to celebrate family get-togethers by cooking a traditional Easter meal which will include some form of chocolate-based pudding.
Fortunately, straight-talking chef and restauranteur Marco Pierre White has got the perfect solution for anyone needing a little inspiration on what dessert to make their loved ones and comes in the form of his delicious, classic, dark chocolate mousse.
Marco said: "I remember the first time I ever had chocolate mousse was when I was working at Le Gavroche in London."
According to the famed chef, there are two key aspects to chocolate mousse that home cooks need to bear in mind. Texture and flavour.
Marco added: "Many people can make a chocolate mousse, but whether they can make a good one depends on the two factors of texture and flavour.
"The key to the texture is to make the mousse light. A bit like a souffle, a mousse needs to be treated with extreme care, to avoid total collapse. It's all about the way you treat the eggs and cream. Heat the cream with caution and whisk the eggs until they peak.
"When it comes to flavour, what you end up with on your plate depends entirely on the quality of chocolate you use, so the higher the quality, the better the pudding.
"The beauty of a chocolate mousse is that you can make it the day before and keep it in the fridge. But be warned, you'll need to keep them under close observation, otherwise they may go missing they're so tasty!"
Ingredients (Serves 4)
110g pasteurised egg yolks
1 gelatin sheet, bloomed in ice water
125g milk chocolate
125g dark chocolate, up to 70 per cent
Water as needed
100g egg whites
375g cream, whipped to soft peaks
Slivers of white, milk and dark chocolate for garnish
1. Whip the egg yolks with the whisk attachment in a mixer until they are pale yellow and reach ribbon stage.
2. Bring the 50g of cream to the boil, add the bloomed gelatin sheet and stir until dissolved. Pour the mixture over the milk and dark chocolates to make a ganache.
3. Put the sugar in a small pot and pour in just enough water to cover. Heat and bring to a temperature of 120°C.
4. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and in a steady stream pour in the hot sugar syrup to make an Italian meringue.
5. Assemble the mousse by folding the whipped yolks into the chocolate ganache, followed by the warm Italian meringue and lastly the whipped cream. Do not over-mix. Pour the mousse into four glasses and chill in the refrigerator at least one hour before serving. Garnish as desired.
6. You could always save yourself any bother at all and visit any one of Marco's restaurants instead, where you can enjoy a delicious meal that you didn't have to cook yourself - what more could you want!
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