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Chocolate Mousse stolen from Raymond Blanc

By Sophie Dahl

Since childhood, I've been a fiend for chocolate mousse. I like it every which way, as wispy and milky as an aero, dense and dark and thick as butter. This is a combination of the two, but the number of egg whites keep it floating on air. Monsieur Blanc likes his straight up. I like it flavoured because I'm a bit of a teenager really.

  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: Setting time a few hours

Ingredients

  • 200g of good quality, dark chocolate (I am keen on something flavoured: salty, rosy, geranium)
  • 40 g of castor sugar
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 7 Egg whites
  • To decorate, crystallised rose petals, a pinch of sea salt

Method

  1.  Break up the chocolate and melt the squares in a heatproof  bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the egg whites in a mixer (I use my kitchen aid) or use large, very dry and clean bowl, and add your quick squeeze of lemon until the whites form soft peaks. The lemon juice will be a miracle helper. Add the castor sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks form, don't be tempted to whisk past this stage, you'll lose air and it will get watery and deflated and a bit sad.
  2. When the chocolate has melted, take the bowl from the heat, mix a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture without fussing about, and whisk until thick and well combined - if you do it too slowly you will end up with lumpy mousse. Fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture, with a spatula, until all of the egg white has been completely mixed in, but again, avoid the urge to over-mix as once again, it will lose air. It's like some sort of don't- be- too keen- endurance test, but utterly worth it.