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It’s such a relief to put aside all thoughts of law for a year, beyond the odd debate about suing dangerous drivers on the road. And what better way to celebrate than with a day of cooking and cleaning (okay, so that wasn’t that much fun) for a family dinner? On the menu, we had some gorgeous bread from the famous Victoire Bakery in Balmain, to go with aioli, garlic butter and tzatziki (all of which I will learn to make myself one day), tortellini boscaiola, beef stew, and these lovely chocolate mousse cups. I wanted to try something new with presentation, so Tim bore with me and tried not to get too annoyed at my over-the-top bounciness.

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First, cut some circles from pre-made sponge cakes, whether homemade or store bought – we used store bought, seeing as we were low on time. Use a cutter, or use a glass and cut around it with a serrated knife nice and neatly.

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This was the fun and messy part – Measure out strips of baking paper, about 7-10 cms high, and the circumference of your cake circles, plus 1-2cm (for a handle) wide. Remember in highschool? Circumference = pi x diameter. Fold the 1-2 cm handle backwards. Melt some chocolate, and spread an even layer across the baking paper strip on the side where the extra handle isn’t folded over. Confused? Good. Lick your fingers and try again with a fresh strip 😉 Do this one strip at a time, trust me on that one.

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Pick up your lovingly coated chocolate strip, and wrap it around the cake base, so that the chocolate faces inwards and sticks to the base. Try to stand the ends up so they join together, handle side on the outside. It takes a little practice, but the chocolate won’t go to waste…(at least, you shouldn’t let it…). If any bare patches appear, patch them up with excess melted chocolate and a knife.

Let the chocolate cups set in the fridge. When completely set, carefully peel the baking paper from the outside, fill with desired level of freshly-made mousse, and refrigerate until mousse is set.

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Yum? You betcha. It’d be even better if you knew how to temper the chocolate to have a crispy exterior, but who cares? Our favoutite mousse recipe follows.

Chocolate Mousse

 225g dark chocolate (preferrably Lindt couverture)
4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
25g caster sugar
150mL fresh cream
A cube or two of milk chocolate, for garnish/chips

Recipe

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave on low in short bursts. Set aside to cool briefly*.
Break up egg-yolks with a whisk. Beat melted chocolate into the yolks.
Whip egg-whites, adding caster sugar gradually, until soft peaks form.
Whisk a third of the egg-whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold the remaining two-thirds in, until barely incorporated (if white streaks remain, that’s okay, we’ll deal with it later).
Whip cream into soft peaks. Fold in gently. At this stage, if you wanted to add chocolate chips for texture, chop the extra chocolate pieces into fine pieces, and add in with the cream.
Place into serving glasses/bowls/cups, and refrigerate for a couple hours until set. Before serving, take out of refrigeration for 20 minutes or so.**

Notes:
* Too hot = chocolate scrambled eggs. Too cool = solid chocolate chunks again.
** I wouldn’t do this with non-tempered chocolate cups, especially in hot weather, they might collapse.

Serve with whipped cream, shaved chocolate garnish…

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