Valentine’s Day is this week and something chocolate is in order. Nan Cobbey in Belfast shared this velvety and dense chocolate recipe with me at Christmas. It was a great dessert then, and it will be a great dessert now. Even though Valentine’s Day brings out the chocoholic in many of us, you will want to make this mousse all year long.
Nan found the recipe in 2013 on Food52, a favorite food website of mine which I recommend for those of you who like to search for new cooking ideas. It is a wrinkle on a blender-made mousse recipe that I’ve used for the past 28 years or more. Since it has no milk products in it until you add whipped cream on top, it is a good one for lactose-intolerant people.
I would recommend using high-quality chocolate, though you can get away with chocolate chips. The recipe calls for dark or semi-sweet chocolate, and to fortify the orange flavor, Nan suggests using a chocolate bar with orange flavoring in it already. As usual, if you prefer milk chocolate, by all means use it. Then with the subtle flavor of the Earl Grey tea the mousse becomes extra special.
The recipe leaves you with two egg yolks to use elsewhere. We had omelets for supper one night and tossed those extra yolks into that. Blender hollandaise uses one or two yolks. Or you can freeze egg yolks until you have enough to make a rich custard, creme brulee, lemon curd or ice cream.
Keep the hot water hot. If you allow the mixture to cool before all the chocolate is softened, set the blender or bowl in a pan of hot water. A food processor does not work as well as a blender. A stick blender used in bowl or four-cup measuring cup works well, too.
Chocolate Mousse with Earl Grey Tea and Orange
6 ounces fine quality dark chocolate
½ cup boiling water
1 bag Earl Grey tea
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large egg whites
Whipped cream for garnishing
Grated chocolate for garnishing, optional
1. Chop the chocolate into almond-sized pieces.
2. Bring the water to a boil, then keeping the water hot, add the tea bag, grated zest and sugar, and let steep 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve sugar.
3. Put the chopped chocolate in the blender, add the vanilla and strain the sweetened hot tea and zest-flavored water into the blender. Let stand to soften the chocolate.
4. Cover the blender and process on high for 15-20 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
5. Add the egg whites and blend for 1 minute.
6. Pour the mousse into cups and allow to cool until the mousse is set, about 3 hours.
7. If you keep the mousse for 1-2 days, cover with wrap.
8. To serve, garnish with whipped cream, and sprinkle on grated chocolate if desired.