Chocolate and Rosewater Mousse
This is based on Elizabeth David’s classic chocolate mousse; the simplest and best of them all, in my opinion. It’s lighter than the very rich, very dark ‘pots de creme’ which are very intense (and also incredibly good, in a different way) so you can eat a pretty good portion of it without feeling overloaded…
I’ve added rosewater to mine, which I can’t claim comes through particularly strongly, but gives just a hint of something floral and gives me the excuse to top it with an icing rose for Valentine’s Day. You could make it a red rose if you prefer – more traditional for expressing love – but I thought the pink colour looked especially pretty against the chocolate brown of the mousse. The icing roses aren’t meant to be eaten, unless either or both of you have an especially sweet tooth!
Makes 2 (of course!)
- 2 medium eggs
- 50g dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) rosewater, water or rum
For the rose decoration
1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the chocolate carefully with the rosewater over low heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
2. While the chocolate mixture cools a little, separate the eggs. One by one, beat the yolks quickly into the melted chocolate with a wooden spoon until well blended.
3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the chocolate mixture. Keep going until they are thoroughly mixed in, or the chocolate may sink to the bottom while setting.
4. Pour into pretty glasses or small bowls, and chill for 2-3 hours.
5. Meanwhile, make the rose decoration. Knead the pink icing until soft, then, dipping your fingers into icing sugar as necessary to stop them sticking, form a tiny cone shape with a small piece.
6. Take another small amount of icing and shape it roughly into a petal.
7. Dampen the base of the petal and wrap it around the cone.
8. Continue to add petals in the same way, making them slightly larger as you go until you reach a size you like.
9. You’ll have a thick bottom to the flower – pinch it away with your fingers to make a neater shape.
10. Make a small rosebud by adding only one or two petals to the cone shape.
11. Knead a little green icing and roll out on a work surface dusted with icing sugar. Cut out two or three leaves. Allow them to dry on some crumpled kitchen roll or foil to shape them. Stick a small fringe of green to the rose bud.
12. At the last moment, as you are ready to serve, gently position the roses and leaves on top of the chocolate mousses.