We have been walking for days through the souks in the old medinas of the imperial Moroccan cities. So many treasures have been offered to us for display, from colourful carpets, solitair games, silk scarves so thin you may see the stars through, pottery, antiques, jewellery, yet nothing could really catch my eye. My friend had bought so many things that it was becoming difficult to carry and while eyeing every new object ready to begin to bargain, she was curiously starting to wonder what exactly was wrong with me. Everything was beautiful, everything was affordable, everything could become a symbol of a beautiful memory or be offered as an exotic gift, and yet I hesitated to make a purchase.
We smiled at the merchants in Casablanca, we crossed the market place in Rabat saying “No” to every tempting offer, we fell in love with the genuine antiques in Meknes and there in one little shop, hidden in a corner these beautiful blue colour tea glasses engraved in gold were sitting on a shelf waiting for me.Was it the simplicity of the design or the blue glass colour I really don’t know, but I knew instantly that they were meant for me. I could see the extraordinary in my ordinary Moroccan tea glasses and I could sense the joy to come in displaying their delicate elegance in variety of ways, serving mint tea, offering bordeaux, lightning the room with tea candles, and now filling them with the irresistible density of my favourite chocolate mousse.
So dense yet smooth, so sweet yet melting, so light yet rich, many are the wonders of the perfect chocolate mousse. They say that making one was easy and I was perfectly happy to acknowledge this fact up to the moment of complete failure at my first two attempts. The truth is that so many things may go wrong during the process of preparation, the chocolate may burn while melting, the egg yolks may curdle while combining with the chocolate, the egg whites may split while making the meringue, the cream may get buttery when overbeaten. Yet, all effort, in full measure is more then worth it, while sampling the tender delicacy and sweetness of the end result. For every soul daring trying, here are my notes on how to make a perfect, simply irresistible chocolate mousse.
- 4 eggs
- 300g cream
- 100g good quality dark chocolate
- 200g good quality milk chocolate
- 100g sugar
- 30g butter
1. Pour a little bit of water in a deep pot and put on top another dish where the chocolate can belt. Bring the water to a gentle simmer but let the boiling water not touch the bottom of the dish where the chocolate will be melting. Break the chocolate into small pieces into the dish above the simmering water and add 30g of butter. Let it melt into a consistent paste, mixing constantly. Take off the heat and let the melted chocolate cool completely (should not be warm to a touch).
2. Split the egg whites from the egg yolks and place both in two separate bowls.
3. Whisk the egg yolks with a little bit of sugar until they are smooth, pale and thick.
4. Add the whisked eggs to the the cooled melted chocolate and fold the two liquids into one paste with a gentle motion.
5. Whisk the egg whites and half-way through add a little bit of sugar. Whisk the egg whites until medium soft peaks start to appear.
6. Add the egg white meringue into the melted chocolate mixture, folding gently until the white is completely absorbed and the paste becomes brown.
7. Whisk the cream together with the remaining sugar until it begins to thicken. If you are able to turn the dish upside down and the cream remains solid, it has been beaten sufficiently.
8. Add the cream to the chocolate paste and folding in circles mix the two mixtures together, keeping the chocolate mousse light, thick and airy.
9. Pour the chocolate mouse in glasses and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve decorated with fresh mint leaves and fresh fruit.