“Nearly everyone knows and appreciates the old and reliable formula for a chocolate mousse – 4 yolks beaten into 4oz of melted bitter chocolate and the 4 whipped whites folded in” –from Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking
Well they do now Elizabeth!
But I didn’t until a week ago on Saturday. I feel as if I’m a late comer to a party that everyone else has known about for AGES. So that day is marked in my diary as the day I discovered a dairy free chocolate mousse. I have a dairy thing – an allergy, an intolerance whatever you call it I have it and have had it since childhood – and that’s despite being brought up on raw milk. Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk you name it milk was tried but it wasn’t until adulthood and getting some testing that it was confirmed as a full on thingy with dairy/lactose.
My way round it is generally to avoid the worst culprits – that means milk, cream and ice cream. They are no-gos for me. But there is a silver lining (there always is if you look for it); I do this so I can enjoy a few treats along the way – namely cheese. I couldn’t live life without cheese and let’s face it nor could I spend so much time in France if I didn’t eat cheese. The best approach I’ve developed is to completely avoid processed cheese and go for the full on un-pasteurised cheeses – in tiny oh so pleasurable doses. It’s all about balance.
All this means that I rarely partake of desserts or puddings; custard I dream of you, but I avoid you, ice cream, I treat myself to a yearly flavour hit, crème Brulee – I love you but know you are wickedness personified.
Dairy free mousse au chocolat is a delight – soft and velvety with a deep chocolate flavour and yet so light and fluffy. The recipe I asked? “Oh it’s simple, a bar of chocolate, 6 eggs (yolks added to chocolate, whites whipped up) and 2 spoons of sugar” came the reply. Well my French isn’t the best but I understood that!
Back home, looking on line and double checking I find a great article in the Guardian where some kind soul tested out various versions – complicated, adding cream, alcohol you name it they tested. The verdict was that Elizabeth David’s was the best, the simplest and easiest and yes tastiest.
But the one thing the author of the article and Mrs David’s missed out was the insider French information. The trick. The piece de resistance…….
Leave it for 24 hours before you eat it.
Can you manage that? I know it’s tricky, thinking of the dark-delight that sits in the fridge, winking at you every time you have to open the door for something else. But do what I did – make it, refrigerate it, leave it till morning when you have better light to photograph it and then have it with a cup of coffee for a late breakfast.
Oh what I’m prepared to do for the sake of my blog………
Mousse au Chocolat – Classic French Chocolate Mousse
Dairy free chocolate mousse
For 2 servings
Take 60g of dark (dairy free) chocolate and gently melt in a bowl over hot water, in the meantime in a separate bowl whip 2 egg whites (with a teaspoon of white sugar added) until they are firm, add the egg yolks to the chocolate and blend in, now fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate with a metal spoon. Leave it in the bowl or pour into small serving bowls / glasses and pop in the fridge – best left for 24 hours remember!