Whether you love it or want the day to disappear into oblivion, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for a chocolate indulgence.
Since February 14th is usually overshadowed by our eldest son’s birthday (which happens to fall one day after Cupid casts his bow and arrow), I often spend what is meant to be a romantic night decorating my boy’s birthday cake and stuffing party bags. Not much time for romance there!
After over a decade into the parenting game, my husband and I both cherish our “alone time” together, even if we manage to squeeze it into the late hours of the evening when our kids are fast asleep (in this case, after the party bags have been stuffed). For us, Valentine’s Day is acknowledged by a cozy dinner at home, usually cooked by both of us – something we love to do together. A candle-lit table, great wine, and even better conversation make it more romantic than a night out at a Michelin-starred restaurant could ever be.
This simple Chocolate Mousse will grace our dinner table for our late night Valentine’s feast. Adapted from my mother-in-law’s recipe, all you need are three ingredients to make this fabulously light and airy mousse. Eat it as it is, with a light dusting of cocoa powder, or top with caramelized bananas (recipe at the bottom of the page), lightly sweetened cream, or fresh berries – the choice is yours.
Use the freshest eggs you can find. Feel free to use pasteurized eggs if you’re uneasy about using raw eggs.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
- 9 eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 350 grams chopped dark chocolate (52 to 70 percent) – I use 52% Valrhona
- 8 tablespoons espresso (alternatively, use filter or instant coffee)
8 to 12 individual ramekins (150 to 225 ml capacity) – this can also be an eclectic mix of cups or glasses
Melt the chocolate and the coffee in a bowl over simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), stirring occasionally.
Once the chocolate is smooth with a nice shine to it, set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a standing or handheld mixer until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the egg yolks to the melted chocolate. I add about three eggs at a time, mix, then add three more. Do this until all the yolks have been incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Fold your egg whites into the chocolate mixture, one third at a time, until you have a light and airy mousse.
Don’t worry if you have a little bit of egg white peeking through the chocolate, it will incorporate once chilled. If you find you have large masses of egg whites that refuse to incorporate, feel free to gently pop them with your spatula. A trained pastry chef would probably be horrified at me giving you this advice, but as long as you keep the air and volume in your mousse, this is not a problem and will save you a lot of frustration.
Divide your mixture among ramekins, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least four hours or overnight.
Remove the mousse from the refrigerator. Grab a spoon and dig into the mousse immediately either as it is, or add a topping of your choice.
Caramelized bananas (optional):
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 sliced bananas
Melt butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add bananas. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until all of the ingredients are combined, and the butter and sugar have turned into a thick luscious sauce. Place on top of the chilled mousse and serve immediately.