This weekend has been just perfect. I’d been working away all week and I’m not going to lie, it was tough. Sometimes things seem to just pile up and up and it gets a bit much. Amongst other things, I hadn’t seen James properly for 3 weeks because he’d been away the 2 weeks before I went away, as well as back to work blues (I’d had last week off of work and it was blissful). Thankfully though, it was Valentine’s weekend this weekend; which meant a weekend of eating mostly chocolate (and calories not existing – I definitely made the most of this!), which incidentally is the known cure for a long week. I baked a monstrously decadent and delicious pecan praline bundt cake (more on that soon) and made these chocolate mousses. Chocolate mousse is up there in my favourite desserts ever list and salted caramel is a thing James and I both love. When we first started talking far more than people who are just friends do, I used to post him bars of salted caramel chocolate. I figured these would be the perfect Valentine’s desserts, especially because I could put them in those adorable heart shaped dishes.
As Valentine’s go, this was the best one ever. I got absolutely spoilt with thoughtful gifts and was then surprised with a ridiculously generous gift later in the day, after I’d assumed all the gift giving was done; beats headphones, (in matte black of course), I’m still in shock and the luckiest girl. We also went to test drive a car on Valentine’s day and put a deposit down on a new car!!!! This is a huge stress off of our minds. My car has been unreliable for a long time and we have so many long drives coming up over the next 6 months; we thought it was about time we took that step and bought a new car, as a couple (eek!). It is such a relief to know we’ll have a reliable car to make those journeys in now. We decided on an adorable VW Move Up! in Mayan blue.
Back to chocolate mousse: Oh my, oh my, oh my. Don’t make these whatever you do ( you know you want to though!), they are far too, dangerously, good. I halved the original recipe (which makes 6) and made 4 smaller mousses. I think they were the perfect size. Well, the perfect size would be never ending, but in the interests of my waistline, they were perfect. I topped them with strawberries dipped in dark chocolate but raspberries would make the perfect finish too. That being said, they’d be perfectly delicious on their own. The recipe is a David Lebovitz recipe (so I knew it’d be astonishing) courtesy of Love & Olive Oil. I’d had the recipe bookmarked for Valentine’s day since it was first posted.
Ingredients: (Makes 4 ramekins)
- 0.25 cup of granulated sugar (I used demerara to add an extra caramel hint)
- 1.5 tbsp (22g) of butter, chopped into chunks.
- A generous 1/3 of a cup of heavy cream
- 85 g of dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa solids, go for at least 70%)
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 0.25 tsp of sea salt flakes, such as Maldon
- Fruit to garnish, optional
- Place the sugar in a sauce pan, so that it is spread evenly across the bottom.
- Place the saucepan on a medium heat. Once the sugar begins to liquefy, use a heat proof spatula to scrape the sugar into the centre.
- Keep doing this until the edges begin to darken/the very very first whiffs of burning sugar. If you’d rather just call it quits once the sugar has melted completely, that’s totally fine.
- Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter. Slowly whisk in the cream, until no lumps of solid sugar remain. If you’re like me and always have a disaster when making caramel (you end up with a solid lump of sugar when you add the butter), place the pan back on a medium heat and keep stirring until it all combines. So long as the heat isn’t too high, it’ll get there I promise. I find that the sugar solidifies the second that I add the butter, no matter how much I do or don’t stir.
- Once you have a smooth mixture (remove from the heat if you placed it back on), stir in the chocolate, keep stirring until it is smooth and almost glossy. Set aside in a heat proof bowl for 20 minutes, until it reaches room temperature.
- Stir in the egg yolks until glossy.
- In a separate (clean) bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, using an electric whisk.
- Fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, with the salt flakes, using a rubber spatula.
- Fold in the second half of the egg whites, until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the mixture between your dishes and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. If you’re brave enough to lick the spoon, try to resist eating all of the mixture before you get the mixture into its dishes. (They are worth the wait, I promise).
- Serve and enjoy. I’ll definitely have to make these soon. We LOVED them.