I never thought I'd say this, but I have well and truly had enough chocolate (until an Easter egg is presented to me next weekend). I've previously mentioned that I help with a pensioners' lunch club at church, and the dessert for the last one was a chocolate mousse. However ... many chocolate mousse recipes use raw eggs, which were considered 'not advisable' for health and safety reasons. So my task was to come up with a chocolate mousse recipe which did not use raw eggs and which delivered taste relatively cheaply. A quick google of chocolate mousse threw up various options including ingredients such as cream, evaporated milk and marshmallows. It took more attempts than I care to remember, a fridge full of chocolate mousse (and some in the freezer - I'm not sure how that's going to turn out when we try eat it) and a hopefully (definitely) temporary aversion to chocolate, brought on by overexposure before I finally came up with a recipe that tasted good, had a light texture and was reasonably priced. Having gone through all of that, there was no way I wasn't going to get a blog post out of it. So even though I may not be eating chocolate mousse for the foreseeable future, here's a recipe to try if you fancy some and don't want to eat raw eggs. Make the chocolate mousse at least a few hours before you need it, and preferably the day before. This recipe makes six to eight servings.
What you’ll need:
410g can of evaporated milk (make sure it is not the light version)
100g milk chocolate
4 leaves gelatine
5 rounded dessertspoons of white sugar
6 rounded dessertspoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
300ml double cream
What to do:
1. Cut up the four leaves of gelatine roughly and soak the gelatine in the evaporated milk for a few minutes in a heatproof bowl or top of a double boiler whilst boiling water for the double boiler or to go in a saucepan below the bowl. You may need to push the gelatine fully down into the evaporated milk to make sure it is all reasonably well covered as it soaks. And yes, I am aware I used a soup spoon in the photo below…it was just the first spoon that came out the draw.
2. Roughly chop the chocolate. Start heating the evaporated milk and gelatine over a saucepan of boiling water or in a double boiler for a few minutes before adding the chopped chocolate. Stir occasionally whilst the chocolate and gelatine are melting to stop a skin forming on the top of the evaporated milk.
3. Once the chocolate and gelatine have melted and been thoroughly mixed in to the evaporated milk, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the sugar and cocoa powder into the mixture, adding one spoon of sugar and one of cocoa powder at a time and mixing thoroughly before adding the next spoon until it is all incorporated.
4. Leave the mixture to cool for 20 to 30 minutes (I did this in the fridge). Don't worry if it starts to set a bit during that time - just make sure it doesn't set fully.
5. Once the mixture is cool, beat it with an electric beater for 10-15 minutes until it becomes thick and creamy and its volume increases to double (roughly) what it was. I transferred the mixture to a taller bowl before I started beating it as it seemed to splatter very easily and enthusiastically at this stage. Make sure that any bits that have started to set are thoroughly beaten in.
And this was after beating…
6. Add the cream and vanilla essence to the bowl and continue beating with an electric beater, thoroughly incorporating all the cream, until the mixture reaches firm-peak stage. The peaks at this stage weren't quite as firm as when one beats cream or egg whites by themselves, but there were small firm peaks. Be careful when you get to this stage - if you beat it for slightly too long, the mixture may separate. If this happens, the chocolate mousse should still set and taste good but it might not look as pretty.
7. Spoon into glasses and refrigerate. This is yummy served with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate pieces.