This post is an entry into the Nuffnang ‘Fresh Recipe’ Network Competition, thanks to BRITA. Check out betterwithbrita.com for inspiration and exclusive recipes by Gary Mehigan.
Update – my entry won 1st place in the competition! Hooray!
We all have a memory of a food disaster from some point in our lives. When a recipe ends in failure, especially one that you were really excited to try and put in a lot of your precious time, effort and love to make it turn out perfectly, it’s very disheartening. You realize that, instead of the homemade meal or dessert you wanted to serve, you’re just going to have go out and buy takeaway for dinner, or a cake from the bakery. Luckily, in time, you’ll be able to look back and have a good laugh, though.
Whenever I decide to whip up some chocolate mousse, there is a memory that pops into my head from my teen years. Mom was working late, so dad and I made dinner and dessert. I decided to prepare the dessert, which was a make-ahead recipe. It was chocolate mousse. I believe it was a relatively simple recipe, and I was excited to make my first chocolate mousse for dad and I. When the time finally came, I brought the mousse from the refrigerator to the table very proudly and began to dig in. Dad was looking forward to it as well, as he loves chocolate as much as I do. But, it tasted awful!! I don’t remember how many bites I had, it may have just been one, and I’m not sure how many bites dad managed to force down (he was trying to spare my feelings, I realized later!), but I proclaimed that I couldn’t eat it, it was just terrible! Dad sat down his spoon and said how glad he was that I didn’t like it either as he had no idea how he’d be able to eat the whole thing if I had liked it! You’ve got to admire him for trying to be so pleasant about it! Haha!
I was very upset about my failed mousse and tried to think what I had done wrong. Looking back, I had probably not added enough sugar. These days, I usually double-check ingredients, if I don’t already have them memorized, and sometimes I double-check them even if I do have them memorized. I don’t like wasting good ingredients, so I make sure to get it right the first time!
The chocolate mousse in today’s recipe is much more forgiving than most chocolate mousse recipes. I’ve actually already posted the recipe, but it’s so great that I decided to use it to make this Turkish Delight-inspired dessert.
This delicious, creamy chocolate mousse is made with just two ingredients – chocolate and water. You’ve all heard it before – water is chocolate’s worst enemy. But if you’re a rebel, you’ll ignore the rules and just go with it. It’ll work, and it’s basically foolproof.
Use your favorite dark chocolate and fresh, filtered water for the absolute best and purest result. This is an unadulterated mousse; it’s not thinned out with cream, milk, eggs or sugar. The water adds no other flavor to the mousse (unless your water tastes bad, which is why I’d recommend using filtered water), so this is going to be like eating chocolate straight from the wrapper.
You must use a digital scale to get the exact amounts of chocolate and water. For this recipe, it’s 200g of dark chocolate and 180mls of water. These two ingredients are whisked together until the chocolate is melted and smooth, then transferred to a bowl set in an ice bath. The chocolate and water mixture is then whisked, whisked, whisked, whisked until it turns thick and creamy.
The timing is crucial to getting the best consistency for your mousse. If you whisk for just a little bit too long, the mousse becomes grainy. It’ll still taste nice, but won’t be very presentable if you’re looking to impress. But don’t worry, you don’t have to throw out all that expensive chocolate. This is where the foolproof part comes in. Just scoop the mousse back into the pan and re-melt it. It’ll melt down as it did before, then you just repeat the recipe from that point. Transfer it back to the bowl set over the ice bath and re-whisk. But just don’t whisk as long next time.
You can whisk with an electric mixer, or electric whisk, or just a normal whisk. I used to use my electric whisk, but it broke, so I’m currently using my good old balloon whisk. It’ll take longer (up to 10 minutes) when using the traditional whisking method, but at least you have more control over it and are less likely to over-whisk, therefore saving time.
When you’ve whisked up the perfect mousse, pour/scoop it into serving glasses and set aside for a few minutes to firm up. Personally, I think it tastes best closer to room temperature, so I’d recommend not to eat it straight from the whisking bowl.
Inspired by the pink rose-flavored pashmak (Persian fairy floss) that was on special at the shops the other week, I decided to add a bit of a Turkish Delight twist to my mousse today. I made some whipped cream with a touch of rosewater and powdered sugar to dollop on top of the chocolate mousse and sprinkled it with chopped pistachios. The final touch is the pashmak. I think it looks beautiful!
It’s easy to change the flavor this chocolate mousse – use coffee instead of water, or replace a teaspoon or two with your favorite flavoring (mint, perhaps?). If you don’t like rose, just leave it out of this recipe and use a different flavor of pashmak, or just use normal fairy floss.
Oh, and if you’re vegan, use dairy-free chocolate and coconut whipped cream. This mousse is for everyone!
- For the mousse:
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- 180ml filtered water
- For the rose-scented whipped cream:
- 1 cup thickened cream
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons rosewater (from Middle Eastern shops)
- Handful of pistachios, chopped
- Rose-flavored pashmak
- For the mousse:
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with cold water and ice cubes. Grab a smaller bowl that fits inside the ice bath and set it nearby.
- Place the chocolate and water into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the smaller bowl you set aside earlier, then place this bowl into the ice bath. Make sure not to get any of the ice water into your chocolate. Now just whisk away until the chocolate has thickened slightly. It'll take a while to thicken, but once it starts thickening, things will start happening fast. It might take up to 10 minutes if you're whisking by hand, but just a few minutes if you're going with the electric whisk.
- Take care not to over-whisk, as the mousse will turn grainy. If this happens, just transfer the chocolate back to the pan and re-melt until smooth. Then pour back into the bowl, set it over the ice bath again, and re-whisk, keeping a close eye on the consistency of the mousse.
- Immediately pour or scoop into serving glasses and set aside.
- For the whipped cream:
- Before beginning, ensure you've chilled your whisking tools for at least 15 minutes, as this will speed up the process. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl, and use your preferred method to whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Take care not to over-whisk or the cream will turn grainy. If this happens, you'll need to start over from scratch.
- Scoop the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe a mound of whipped cream on top of the mousse.
- Sprinkle the whipped cream with chopped pistachios and carefully place some strands of pashmak next to the cream.
- Once you add the pashmak, serve immediately, as the pashmak will quickly start to melt into the cream and mousse.
Be sure to use real rosewater, and not the cheap stuff you find at the average supermarket.