My daughters are now closer to the ripe old age of 30 than to their wonderfully free’n’easy teenage years, when their old man had a trio of restaurants—two of them highlighting the food of Italy, and the other the food of France. Bistro food, that is, not the high falutin’ stuff served by the three-star set. Not that we compromised on quality, or the offer; it was just that the inspiration had more to do with old-style menus, including those from Melbourne in the early years of last century. We served simple steaks, with thick, thick, triple-cooked chips; and grilled fish; and luscious mash; and peach Melba; and (here’s where we get back to the daughters), the richest chocolate mousse conceived, served in a deep glass. Available, for those who needed more richness, was a dollop of cream. To “lighten” the load, we had raspberry coulis. Twenty years later, the girls still drool at the memory.
Chocolate mousse is one of those dishes that is made for the Thermomix: you need to melt, mix, cook, and control. Part of the process is whisking sweetened egg whites: my preference is to use the hand whisk to do that, so you can feel the mix mounting.
We used a little gelatine to make sure the setting is as you want it to be. As the photo shows, the gelatine also keeps those gorgeous bubbles in place to give you that sense of popping in the mouth.
words & recipe Geoff Slattery
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- 1 sheet titanium strength gelatine (3 grams)
- 225 g white sugar
- 300 g Chocolate - Callebaut dark (70 per cent cocoa), BUY
- 200 g pure cream
- 30 g strong coffee, ideally espresso
- 6 eggs (50 grams each), separated
Soak the gelatine leaf in cold water for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Mill the sugar 10 sec/speed 9. Set aside in a bowl.
Grind the chocolate in the Thermomix for 10 sec/speed 9, it should be a fine crumble.
Add 150 grams of sugar (the rest is for beating the egg whites) and the cream to the chocolate mix, and cook 4 min/60ºC/speed 2.
Add the shot of coffee, the squeezed-out gelatine and the egg yolks. Cook 5 min/60ºC/speed 1.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool until it has no appreciable warmth.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites, with half the extra sugar in a very clean bowl.
Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar to form a thick, glossy mixture.
Thoroughly fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining whites and again fold thoroughly.
Pour into one large bowl or individual ramekins.
Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Serve with summer fruits, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, black currants, and raspberry sauce.
AND … Mounting egg whites can be a physical joy. The wonderful copper bowls favoured by the three-star chefs are made for this task, and the music that comes from the whisk into the metal is a true sound of a great kitchen in action. This can be done using the butterfly in the Thermomix, but with a well-used Thermomix it can be extremely difficult to get the bowl clean of any grease. Little is more peaceful than beating egg whites with a balloon whisk and watching them mount and mount and mount. ALSO … Folding is when two mixtures are gently combined in such a way that neither of them is over-mixed and previously incorporated air and volume is not lost. Generally, fold a portion of the lighter weight mixture (egg whites) into the heavier mixture (chocolate) first to lighten the consistency, making it much easier to fold in the remainder.