There’s been a bit of silence on the blog, but if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know that there’s been anything but silence in my life. I took a brief holiday (every vacation seems short, right?) to Belgium and am now making my way back to rain-soaked Mumbai. I write this post from way up in the skies, where, for the last few hours, Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapur have kept me smiling in what has to be one of the most underrated movies from last year – ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’. Really, not that the food I’ve been served on the flight is bad, but does it stand a chance against the kebabs, biryani, korma and jalebis from the movie? “Ji nahin!”
All this story-telling without a recipe to go with it would be unfair, right? So today I’ve got a recipe that will challenge all that you’ve ever believed about mixing chocolate and water. Last year, when I shared the recipe for this Chocolate Cake without Eggs and Butter, the glaze called for water to be added to melted chocolate and icing sugar. Many of you wrote in echoing just what I’d been wondering – why hadn’t the chocolate seized? Keep chocolate and water, far, far away from each other. Isn’t that what we’d been told? French molecular gastronomist Hervé This has the answer for us. Yes, those few drops of water on chocolate will make it seize, but if you balance it out like an equation, chances are, the chocolate won’t seize at all and you could well be on your way to whipping up a dark chocolate mousse like this one… with just those very two ingredients.
Apart from the chocolate and water that go into a saucepan together (hold your breath, this ends well); you need to create an ice-bath right alongside. I took a large steel bowl and filled it with ice cubes and some cold water and placed an empty glass bowl on the ice and water. We’re going to be whisking things up later in this empty bowl, so you want it to sit comfortably in the ice bath. Think of it as a double-boiler, except it’s placed over ice and water instead of hot water.
Once the chocolate and water have melted in the saucepan placed over a medium flame, pour this mixture immediately into the glass bowl that’s been chilling over the ice bath. Waste no time in whisking this mixture, one does need to keep things organized for this one. You could of course do this by hand, but I should warn you that it’s a major workout for your arm, one that I’m never really in the mood for in the sweltering heat of Mumbai. So, the whisk attachment of the KitchenAid Pro Line Series 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender is a life-saver here! Just a minute or so of whisking and you will see the chocolate and water mixture take on the consistency of mousse, as opposed to 10 minutes of whisking by hand. I would say that this mousse, which has no added sugar, is one for true chocolate lovers. I’ve only ever made it with 50% dark chocolate from Callebaut, but it works well with 70% dark chocolate too. What’s more? I didn’t even need to refrigerate the mousse because it held its texture until it was time to serve, which was a couple of hours later. It tends to get harder in the refrigerator. I topped it with the classic garnish of whipping cream and some chocolate shavings. Can’t really go wrong with that, can you? When you give this mousse a try, please write in to tell me how it turned out. I’d love to know how it holds up under different conditions.
Recipe adapted from Hervé This.