I’ve gone into 2 weeks of hibernation. Wish I could say I was away on an island holiday. I just need to stay away, to plan and re-strategise on how to improve the site for you readers. And I’m back with an easy and sweet recipe. 2 ingredients (only chocolate and water) and 5 minutes later, you will be eating an amazingly rich Chocolate Mousse, guilt free with the purest chocolate flavor. This has to be the easiest and best chocolate dessert. Period.
This amazing recipe was discovered by the famous French chemist, Hervé This. The recipe, which is also called Chocolate Chantilly, starts with melting chocolate in water and ends with whisking it until thickened. It’s that simple. Wait a sec. Don’t chocolatiers always say never to have any water come in touch with chocolate? Water in chocolate will turn grainy. So not true. Watch Heston Blumental whipped up the recipe here.
The best thing is you don’t need any fancy kitchen gadgets. Only patience and a bit of elbow grease is required. Yeah, get those muscles going.
As the recipe has only 2 ingredients, make sure to get your hands on the best quality chocolate. I love Callebaut Extra Bitter (from Belgium), which I was using for my homemade chocolates a while back. Use your favourite chocolate as long as it has 70% cocoa solids. If the taste of bittersweet chocolate is too strong, you may add a bit of sugar.
You can also flavor it with spices like cinnamon or cayenne pepper (chili chocolate is extremely popular of late but not to my liking). Or add a tablespoon of liquor like Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Tia Maria. Just make sure the amount of liquid stays the same (subtract the amount of liquor from the water). I sprinkled mine with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and it’s heaven in my mouth. If you have not tried salted chocolate, go grab a box of Maldon.
Or you can boil the water in mint leaves, remove the leaves and melt with chocolate with the infused mint water.
This is not only a mousse recipe, it sets beautifully (after an hour in the fridge) and never looses that melt-in-your-mouth consistency. It will be perfect as a filling for a chocolate cake or my crepes.
The most important part of the recipe is achieving the right consistency. Use a wire whisk so you can watch the consistency closely and stop the second before it thickens. If you use an electrical hand-held mixer, I’d recommend watching the consistency very closely as it whisks faster than your hand. If you over whisk it, the mousse will be grainy. Once the texture starts to thicken a little, remove the bowl from the ice. When the chocolate continues to reduce in temperature (getting colder), the chocolate will slightly harden. It will lose its shine but the texture will still remain silky smooth. Another great thing – this is a very forgiving recipe. If it goes wrong – mousse becomes grainy or hardens (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
- 265g (9.35 oz) 70% (extra dark) Chocolate - chopped (I use Callebaut Extra Bitter couverture buttons, that doesn't require choppingt
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes- to sprinkle
- Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tablespoon of liquor of choice (Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Tia Maria) - If liquor is added, subtract 1 tablespoon of water from the recipe.
- Fill a small mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Place a slightly larger mixing bowl on top of the small bowl, the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice.
- Put chocolate and water (also the flavouring) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until it thickens. Once the texture starts to thicken, remove bowl from the ice immediately. When the chocolate reduces in temperature (getting colder), the chocolate will become slightly harden but the texture will still remain silky smooth. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
- Divide into four serving cups and serve immediately.