Sourcing ingredients: Incredibly easy – the only thing I had to leave the house for was the marshmallows
Total preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes tops
Serves: 4-6 (I halved the recipe for just me and Husband – I ate all of mine and finished his too)
People who know me, know that when it comes to food there are two things that I can’t say no to. If you have read my first post, you will already know one is fries. The other is chocolate mousse. If you also have a weak spot for this ecstasy in chocolate form you will understand my obsession, and the sheer title of this post will excite you to your very core. For those of you who don’t like chocolate mousse, you’re wrong.
I wasn’t sure about this recipe to start with. I’m a chocolate mousse purist. When I read the list of ingredients I was a little surprised to see no mention of eggs. A quick scan of my fridge and my apprehension turned to delight, because I had no eggs anyway.
I know there is method to Nigella’s madness. She is a genius. So true to the recipe, I measured out the butter, chocolate, water and marshmallows into a heavy based saucepan and put them on a low heat; level four on my induction stovetop to be exact.
The important thing to remember when working with chocolate is not to heat it too quickly so it burns. That would be disastrous. Luckily for me (and my lack of attention span), chocolate does not take long to melt. It took about five minutes or so to end up like this:
While the chocolate mixture was cooling, I put the cream and vanilla essence into a bowl for whipping. In New Zealand, we don’t have the “double cream” that Nigella uses. I spent a bit of time researching New Zealand substitutes for the British version. Who knew everyone on the internet had an opinion? New Zealand cream is pretty full and rich anyway (and has a higher fat content than in the UK), so I just went with the regular stuff.
I whipped the cream and vanilla essence until it was relatively solid, but still had a bit of softness to it.
It is important that you keep checking the chocolate mixture to see how the cooling process is going. I recommend dipping your (clean) finger into the mixture once every 15-20 seconds. The best way to check the temperature is orally, so go right ahead and pop that finger in your mouth each time. In the name of accurate temperature reading, of course.
Once the chocolate has cooled sufficiently so the cream won’t melt as soon as you combine them, use a spatula to transfer the cream into the pot with the chocolate and fold the two together.
I’ve never been much of a folder. I try, but in the end I’m just mixing and hoping for the best. My method seems to work though, and in the end you should be rewarded with this:
The last thing to do is transfer the chocolate mousse into martini glasses (chocolate mousse tastes better this way) and admire your handy work. The recipe says you can enjoy these straight away. Maybe it was my inability to fold successfully, but I found they needed about half an hour in the fridge. Regardless, this is a million fold (HA!) better than other recipes that need 24 hours to set properly.
The end result: You know that feeling when it’s bitterly cold in the depths of winter and it’s raining what could be sleet outside, and you’re snuggled up on the couch in your trackpants/pyjamas/onesie under a rug with a piece of toast and a hot drink and the heater on full blast, watching television shows about rich people doing everyday things which is far more entertaining than it should be and you feel like you could just do this for the rest of your life and you would feel nothing but happiness and fulfillment? This is how I felt when I took my first mouthful of Nigella’s Instant Chocolate Mousse. The thing I love about this version is the almost instant result. Chocolate mousse for me has traditionally been about patience. Now it’s about instant gratification; it’s about delightfully gooey, marshmallowey, chocolatey goodness that comes from just twenty embarrassingly easy minutes in the kitchen. This is why Nigella is The Domestic Goddess.