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The three of us love chocolate and I really cannot think of a better way to celebrate anything, food wise, than with chocolate. August is a month of celebrations in our home and Akshaya’s birthday in July starts off the festive season for us. From the 15th of August onwards, it’s the beginning of the end of the monsoons and time to celebrate traditional festivals, one after the other, and a couple of personal anniversaries too.
It was our wedding anniversary four days back. Wednesday was in the middle of the week and with my husband busy at work and daughter in the middle of reviews/ tests at school it wasn’t the best time for any kind of celebration. We shall celebrate it quietly, in our usual manner sometime this month. But I wasn’t going to let the day slip by without making an extra special dessert and the obvious choice was something “chocolate”. As a Scott Adams’ Dilbert says, “Life is unsure, eat dessert first”! We did have a good lunch first, though.
Most mousse recipes use eggs, or gelatin or agar. I wanted to avoid eggs, gelatin was out of question, and I didn’t have agar at home. So I came up with a recipe for a mousse without any of these. The mousse was absolutely delicious and creamy. The combination of a dense and very chocolatey mousse topped with a lighter orange mousse was really good. And the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate was balanced out by the sweetness of the orange mousse.
For the dark chocolate mousse:
1 ½ cups chopped dark semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp butter (I used salted)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
5 tbsp water
200 ml cream (I used 25% fat)
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the orange mousse:
1 ½ cups chopped white chocolate
2 tbsp butter ( I used salted)
1 tbsp powdered sugar
5 tbsp orange juice
200 ml cream
zest/ rind from 1 orange
½ tsp orange essence
For the dark chocolate mousse:
Pour the cream into a bowl and beat with an electric beater till the cream fluffs up and forms soft peaks. Keep aside.
Put the chocolate pieces, butter and cocoa powder in a bowl and melt the chocolate over hot water. Once the chocolate has melted, whisk (by hand) the mixture so it is blended. Add the 5 tbsp water and continue whisking till the chocolate mixture is smooth. Take off the heat.
Adding water to the chocolate here will not cause it to seize. The butter added to the chocolate will ensure this. Normally, unsalted butter is used in most desserts. It is difficult for me to find this here. I also find that the salt in the butter balances out the extra sweetness in most desserts.
Now add the beaten cream and the vanilla essence and slowly fold in the cream into the chocolate mixture till well blended, trying to keep as much of the fluffiness in it as possible. Pour into 6 glasses and chill in the fridge.
Make the white chocolate mousse similarly, adding orange juice and orange zest.
White chocolate is usually sweeter, but the tang of the orange juice reduces the sweetness, so I added 1 tbsp of sugar here to adjust for that. You may choose to leave out the sugar.
Add the orange essence to the cream and make the mousse as above. Pour the orange mousse over the chocolate mousse in the glasses. Chill for at least 5 to 6 hours. Decorate as desired and serve.
This mousse serves 6.
Many people do not like white chocolate. You can make the chocolate orange mousse using the above ingredients for the dark chocolate mousse, substituting the water with orange juice and adding the orange zest and essence. Leave out the vanilla essence. You could also make this with milk chocolate instead of semi sweet chocolate but reduce the sugar to your taste.
Whichever way you choose to make it, orange and chocolate is an unbeatable combination.
Meeta’s latest edition of Monthly Mingle has a theme of Fruit and Chocolate and this mousse is perfect for it.