Family and friends are coming over the holidays and after a hearty vegan winter roast I wanted a dessert which is intense and stimulating but dinky – just 6-8 mouthfuls is what I’m after.
James‘ surprising Great British Bakeoff chocolate mousse recipe, Blumenthal and ultimately the molecular gastronomer Hervé reveal how to make a 2-ingredient mousse by adding hot water to melted chocolate and then cooling rapidly while whisking.
- small saucepan containing enough hot water for hot bain-marie.
- a smallish mixing bowl for melting then cooling the chocolate-water (metal quickly conducts heat and cold, pyrex may be second-best).
- larger bowl with ice and a little water for chilled bain-marie.
- hand whisk for aerating and combining chocolate-water
- spoon for getting mousse in pots
- spatula for getting mousse off spoon
- pots – tiny bowls or shot glasses (ramekins probably too big – they’d amount to eating half a large bar of chocolate)
Ingredients (serves 12 in small pots containing about 6 mouthfuls).
This is where it gets slightly pedantic. You see I have precision scales and the nice thing about this recipe is that if things don’t work out all you have to do is melt the chocolate-water again and add one or the other ingredient to it. So the following is indicative.
- 350g chocolate (in this case the 85% Ghanaian because the Cooperative have decided to contaminate their other dark chocolates with butter oil – next week on my way home I’ll go to Spitalfields organic and get some Divine – some plain, some ginger and orange). He also sells this Organica white bar I’m partial to, or the Plamil white I’m only slightly less partial to – don’t see why either of these shouldn’t work).
- 270ml boiling water according to Heston’s recipe, but for me the mixture rapidly developed a truffley rather than moussey consistency and I ended up having to re-melt it and add a total of 390ml liquid – comprising a further 80ml water and 40ml rum. I bet these amounts differ depending on the proportion of cocoa solids in the chocolate so next time I’ll start with less water and re-melt to add more as necessary.
- Have the pots, spoon and spatula and cold bain-marie ready close by.
- Put the chocolate in the metal bowl melt over the saucepan of water on a low heat.
- Whisk in the hot water.
- Transfer the metal bowl onto the cold bain-marie.
- Whisk vigorously, paying attention to the mixture coating the sides of the bowl, since this will solidify unless mixed in.
- When the mixture stands in soft peaks, quickly transfer to the pots.
- If the thickening happens too quickly, remove the metal bowl from the cold bain-marie and continue to whisk.
- Or if the mixture becomes too thick, return the metal bowl to the hot bain-marie, remelt the chocolate-water and carefully add a small and determinate amount of liquid, whisk this in, then return to the cold bain-marie. Repeat as necessary until the consistency is right.
- Or if the mixture won’t thicken, return to the hot bain-marie and add a small and determinate amount of chocolate, melt, then return to the cold bain-marie. Repeat as necessary until the consistency is right.