© David Loftus
delicious chocolate mousse
There’s one really good reason to make this – chocolate! It’s what makes the world go round, especially for my girls, they’d go mad for this. You can make it a few days before then just pimp it up with the accompaniments at the last minute. I reckon it’s perfect for any meal over Christmas, though I do like to keep things traditional on the day itself. This is also a good one to do with the kids, as they can get involved in all the prep.
1. Place the dark chocolate and a tiny pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl and sit it over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Leave to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, separate your eggs so you have the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Add the sugar to the bowl of yolks and beat until the sugar has dissolved and its silky and smooth. Whisk the whites with a tiny pinch of salt until they form soft peaks – you should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head without them falling out! In a third bowl, beat the cream until slightly thick and just whipped.
3. Once the chocolate has melted, carefully lift the bowl out of the pan. Add 75ml (3 shots) of amaretto and the cocoa powder to your bowl of yolks and mix well. Tip in the cream and mix again, then fold through the melted chocolate until it’s well combined and a gorgeous colour. Finish by tipping in the egg whites, then keep folding, from the outside in in a figure-of-eight until the mix is smooth and evenly coloured. It will look a bit dodgy at first, but trust me it will come together. Spoon or ladle the mousse into a big serving bowl or divide between little glasses or cappuccino cups and pop in the fridge for an hour or two until set.
4. Just before you’re ready to serve, give the mousse a lovely dusting of cocoa. Pop your dried cherries in a small pan, add a wineglass of amaretto then top with enough water to cover. Put on the heat and bring to the boil, then turn the heat off and leave to stand for a bit. This will bring the cherries back to life. Leaving them in the packet, bash up your sesame snaps in a pestle and mortar. Tip them out, and break up any larger bits that are left so its nutty with a caramelly kick and a bit of a crunch. Serve this in the mortar next to your chocolate mousse with a bowl of those beautiful cherries on the side so everyone can dig in and help themselves. It may look a bit rustic, but honestly, it’s the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever tasted!
• 300g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
• sea salt
• 8 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
• 100g caster sugar (4˝ heaped tablespoons)
• 300ml double cream
• 2 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
• 2 packs of sesame snaps
• 400g sour cherries