A simple chocolate mouse is one of the easiest desserts to make and no less impressive because of it. The intense chocolate flavour is often enough, but I like to enhance it with a little orange or brandy. You could serve the mousse on its own, with a little cream or with this divine sea-salted caramel sauce and buttery shortbread biscuits.
Chop the chocolate. In a saucepan, bring the cream up to the boil, turn off the heat, add the chocolate to the cream and stir it around until the chocolate melts. Add the grated zest, or brandy, and whisk in the egg yolks. In a separate, clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff, then stir a quarter of the egg white into the cream mixture. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, then spoon into little bowls, glasses or cups and leave for two hours in the fridge to set. Serve with the salted caramel sauce and shortbread biscuits.
Prep ahead: The mousse will keep covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Salted caramel sauce
Makes about 225ml
I’ll be forever grateful to the French genius who first put salt in caramel. The ultimate expression of salty and sweet. This sauce works brilliantly with the chocolate mousse but as you can imagine it is just as happy drizzled over vanilla ice cream.
Place the sugar , the water and the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir as it heats up to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to high and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until it turns a toffee colour. Do not stir the pan though you might need to swirl the pan occasionally if you see it turning golden on one side of the pan before the other. Once it is a rich golden toffee colour tale it off the heat for a moment and stir in the cream and the salt to taste. Serve with the chocolate mousse and shortbread biscuits.
Prep ahead: *This can be stored in the fridge for about 6 weeks and reheated when necessary
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/gas 4.
- Put the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl, rub in the soft butter and bring the whole mixture together to form a stiff dough. Do not add any water.
- Roll the dough out to about 1/ 2 cm thickness and cut into shapes, place carefully on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 8-10mins, or until pale golden.
- Take out and carefully transfer the biscuits on to a wire rack to cool, I lift them off using a palette knife or metal fish slice. Dust with icing sugar if you wish.
Storage: The shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days, though if storing them do not sift icing sugar over them as this will make them soggy if they’re being stored for more than half a day.