I know it is a bit early for Chocolate Week but this has to be one of the easiest and most delicious desserts that exists. Everyone has heard of it for starters but this wonderful version came from my great-grandmother. As ever, I always ask my mum what the story behind each family favourite is and this is what she told me…
“My Grandma used to make this for my birthday in the 1950’s when chocolate was scarce. It was a once a year treat. I still make it when friends come for a meal as it is quite simple and can be made well in advance. Delia Smith calls it a recipe of the Sixties but it was being used well before then. It is very rich and needs to be served only in small quantities, either on its own, with raspberries or similar fruit and a small amount of cream.”
7ozs (200g) Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
4 fluid ozs (120ml) Warm Water
3 Large Eggs, separated
1½ozs (40g) Caster Sugar (I use unrefined)
1 Break the chocolate into pieces into a large heat-proof bowl, add the warm water and set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water and allow the chocolate to melt slowly.
2 When it is melted remove from the heat and stir until smooth.
3 Let it cool for 3-4 minutes, giving it an occasional stir before adding the egg yolks and then giving it another good stir. Put to one side.
4 In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then whisk in the sugar a little at a time until the whites are stiff and glossy.
5 Fold a little of the egg white mixture into the chocolate, just to loosen it then carefully cut and fold in the rest of the egg whites. It needs gentle handling otherwise the mousse won’t be light.
6 Divide the mixture into your chosen dishes cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 2-3 hours or even overnight for the next day.
To serve it I use very old custard cups but ramekins, glasses or a large glass dish would be suitable.
NB It uses uncooked egg which may cause a risk to children, pregnant women and the elderly, but no-one in my family has ever suffered any reaction from eating this delicious pud.