Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Mint Mousse Magic

As soon as I discovered this Nigella recipe, I just had to try it out.  I am a huge fan of white chocolate and will quite happily nibble away until my tummy can't take the sickly sweetness any longer.  This lucious richness can overpower in some desserts which is the only reason I can imagine that someone may be put of white chocolate. If you are such a person (or you happen to be married to one, as am I) than this is not a dessert to shy away from.  The peppermint in this recipe seems to tone down the white chocolate, and while incredibly subtle becomes the hero of the dessert.  White chocolate provides the initial flavour hit, while the peppermint discretely comes through at the end acting as palatte cleanser.  Admittedly, this doesn't mean that the sweet richness is eradicated completely and even though it looks a little stingy, a small portion is a must if you don't wish to find yourself beaten by an unassuming mousse.

Having had a particularly stressful day, this recipe was exactly what I needed.  It is so perfect in its simplicity and yet presents so elegantly, given the impression of a lot of time and effort when the reality is quite the opposite.  The making of this mousse encompasses quite a number of my most adored techniques.  Firstly, the melting of the chocolate.  Now normally, I am the first to pop the chocolate in my Tupperware microwave jug and stir every thirty seconds at the ping.  Tonight though, I employed the technique of glass bowl over boiling water and let my mind still as I focussed on the transition of the chocolate from matte to glistening and smooth.  Chocolate set aside to cool, I beat out my nervous, anxious energy on the egg white, cream and peppermint and whipped them into a luxurious softly-peaking mixture.  Feeling relaxed and content, I gently folded the cream into the chocolate.  I find folding to be a gorgeous, mind-stilling action which is entirely satisfying as two mixtures seamlessly come together, maintaining the beautiful whipped lightness of the cream.  By the time I was spooning the soft, creamy mousse into shot glasses, I may as well have had a massage in a candle lit room, all the stresses and tension of the day forgotten. All of this before I'd even managed a taste!

Needless to say, once chilled, these went down a treat.  Topped with mint leaves for a little drama, the delectable shots of heaven provided the perfect conclusion to a slightly heavy pasta main.  Happy days.

F. x

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