Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse

December 22, 2017


It's just about Christmas! We have our tiny (potted) tree up, and I'm finishing up making all my gifts for friends and family. Today is my last day of work, and last blog post, until the 26th and after that I'll be dog/house sitting again for friends until mid-January. I'll be continuing posting several times a week post Christmas and have some awesome new year's and healthy recipes to start 2018 off on the right foot. 

Some recipes I'm making to give as food gifts:

Plus some non-food gifts that I need to get my shit together and finish. It's four days till Christmas you guys.

This is a two ingredient recipe, using a method developed by Hervé This, a French molecular gastronomist. The original recipe contains only dark chocolate and water, which seems impossible to people who associate water with chocolate seizing up. The method involves melting the chocolate in the liquid, orange juice in this case, and then whipping rapidly as it cools to create a chocolate Chantilly (mousse). As soon as I read about this method I imagined making it with orange juice and I'm so happy I did. The flavour of the orange is just subtle. This mousse is not for people who don't like chocolate, or people who dislike slight bitterness in a dessert. The end result is not very sweet, mostly dark chocolate with a hint of orange. If you're very fond of dark chocolate then this is perfect for you, but it is, of course, very rich, and best in small portions. This recipe could easily serve six people. 

I'm sharing this before Christmas because it is a lovely holiday dessert, but it would carry nicely into a new year's party and is also healthy enough that you can make it year-round without any concern about over-indulging. To those of you in the southern hemisphere, or any northerners who may read this in the summer, try serving this with seasonal berries in place of pomegranate. Because this is a dairy-free mousse, you need a very dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa mass, because the fat is needed for volume. Use the very best dark chocolate you can, one that you would eat on its own. No baking chocolate. The same goes for the orange juice - avoid a very sour juice and try to choose a nice tasting one, or better yet, squeeze it right out of the orange yourself. I know I usually try to avoid this kind of food snobbery but you only have two ingredients, no cream or spices, so there's nothing there to cover up those flavours.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I'll be here again with a new recipe on the 26th.


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Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse
Serves 4-6

150 grams good quality dark chocolate, 70% or higher
125 ml / 1/2 cup orange juice

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place into a heat proof bowl, along with the orange juice, over a small saucepan* of simmering water. Heat, stirring gently with a whisk, until the chocolate has completely melted.

Fill a large mixing bowl with ice* and place the smaller bowl with the chocolate mixture into it. Whisk  rapidly by hand for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture resembles whipped cream. It will start out very thin but gains volume quickly near the end. If you over mix, the chocolate will become grainy, but if it does, you can simply reheat it and start again.

Pour the mousse into small bowls or glasses and top with a little coconut whipped cream, orange zest, and pomegranate. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a day.

Tips:
• Stop whipping just before you think you need to. A few seconds too long and it'll have gone too far.

Notes:
1. The original method calls for everything to be melted together in a saucepan. I've altered it eliminate a dish and reduce the chance of overheating the chocolate and ending up with a burnt-tasting mousse.
2. I have also made this by sticking my bowl full of chocolate into snow and then whipping, and simply by placing the bowl onto a very cold stone floor. If you don't have ice on hand, there are other options!
3. It doesn't really work to use an electric mixer for this, prepare for a bit of an arm workout.
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