Something chocolatey - the following recipe is for one of the most deliciously pitch perfect chocolate mousses that I have tasted. It requires no adornment - not even a blob of cream (although don't hold back if you are a cream fan) but you can present it in such a way that it looks particularly glamorous even though all you have done is splodged a spoonful on the plate. This trick ideally requires white or light coloured crockery which will show it to best effect. Take a fork with large individual prongs and place on one side of the pudding plate. Sprinkle cocoa powder through a sieve the length of the fork, then carefully remove the fork and you will have a lovely impression - it's a great talking point! Use icing sugar, if serving on dark plates. Add a generous dollop of mousse on the other side of the plate and dive in.
- 250g / 9oz dark chocolate, broken into chunks (£1.68 for 200g)
- 3 tbsp strong black instant coffee
- 6 eggs separated (69p for 6)
- 1 1/2 tbsp brandy (or rum, if you prefer)
- cocoa powder for sprinkling
- Place the chocolate and coffee in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat gently until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. Beat the yolks and gradually stir them into the chocolate mix.
- Stir in the alcohol. Beat the egg whites until stiff in a clean bowl with an electric mixer.
- Carefully fold into the chocolate mix until combined. You can pour the mousse into individual glasses or into a serving bowl.
- Chill for several hours - preferably overnight, if you can wait that long!
Caroline's passion for cooking was inspired by her mother, a home economist, from whom she acquired most of her cookery skills. She has also trained at cookery schools in France and Italy and Leith's Cookery School in London. Caroline is a Wine Scholar and holds a Diploma in Wines and Spirits. She can be contacted at email@example.com
- Photographs David Merewether
- Words and recipes Caroline Samuels