Chocolate Orange Mousse – Larder360 Box Challenge

Some flavour combinations are just a “go to” classic. When there’s no room for error and the safety net of solid familiarity needs relying upon. Tomato and basil, peas and mint, strawberries and cream, the list could go on. Then there is chocolate and orange. There’s something quite remarkable about the bittersweet citrus cutting through the richness of luscious chocolate that just hits all the right notes, ticks all the boxes, <insert other appropriate idiom here> And yet, it can be difficult to incorporate it into our cooking inventory, with appropriate and easy recipes possibly challenging to come by. A good chocolate mousse should be a part of any home cook’s repertoire, though perhaps its unfairly perceived difficulty often leads to it being overlooked by many. For me, there are few dessert recipes that require so little effort and yet offer so much in the final result. The addition of the chocolate orange flavour combination yields a dessert that will be a knockout at any dinner party or indeed to impress another on Valentines Day.

Finely chop the chocolate to ensure an even melting with the warm cream

A couple of tips: The dark chocolate is important here. Please don’t be tempted to opt for a popular orange milk chocolate that comes in segments. Along with the cream it would combine to produce an overly rich and sickly sweet result that wouldn’t be palatable. Try to use an orange flavoured dark chocolate with the highest cocoa solids possible, up to about 70%. I used Blake’s Organic Dark Chocolate with Orange Oil (65%) and I found this to be an excellent balance of richness and sweetness. Otherwise use a good quality dark chocolate but no more than 70% cocoa solids. Anything more would require the addition of more sugar, which I would rather opt against.

Adding the chopped chocolate to the warmed cream will result in a luscious mixture

Chocolate Orange Mousse

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 200g orange flavoured dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa solids the better, up to 70%) finely chopped
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1-2 tbsp. orange flavoured liqueur such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec (if using orange flavoured chocolate you can omit the liqueur)
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  • Freshly grated orange zest and orange chocolate to serve

Separate the eggs to add richness from the yolks and body from the whites

Method

  1. Pour the cream in a medium saucepan and bring gently to a boil. Remove from the heat straight away and add the chocolate, stirring continuously until the chocolate has melted into the cream.
  2. Stir in a pinch of sea salt flakes and add the orange liqueur, if using.
  3. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. In a separate clean bowl whisk the egg whites, using a food mixer or an electric whisk, until they form stiff peaks.
  4. Using a metal spoon or a spatula, add a third of the egg whites into the orange chocolate mixture. Next, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites until fully incorporated, careful to avoid knocking the air out of the egg whites.
  5. Spoon into small serving bowls or glasses and chill in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Serve sprinkled with finely grated orange zest and chocolate

 

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