Riding on the success of a chocolate orange mousse I made for Ma’s birthday I thought this weekend would be a perfect time to flex my culinary muscles and invent a new recipe of my very own. It didn’t quite have as many bubbles as the other one I made (you know, from a recipe book by a French pastry chef…) but it was much lighter and fluffier than any syllabub I’ve ever seen. Hence the White Chocolate and Lime Moussabub was born.
A word of caution – make the day before your soiree, or early morning, as it needs a good few hours to set. Also, if you’re thinking to invite the kind of people who choose a cheeseboard rather than dessert then, a) you probably want to save this one for the sweet tooths instead, and b) de-friend them – there are better people in the world.
You will need:
200g White chocolate
110ml Double cream
40ml Full fat milk
3 eggs (or 2 if on the large side)
55g/2 oz Caster sugar
(Serves 4-6 depending on the size of your pots and tummies)
Chop chocolate finely. You will hear this time and again if you decide to follow this blog but it really is easiest to use a bread knife/one with a serrated edge for this. The smaller you can chop the better, as you will be using the cream mix to melt it. Place in a large bowl.
Place milk, cream and lime zest in a small saucepan and heat gently on a low heat. If you want to use a strip of the zest for decoration then put to one side now rather than covering in cream… nobody wants that on their pudding.
Once the mixture has started to boil, pour it through a sieve over the white chocolate and stir until fully melted. If the mix cools down before it fully melts the chocolate then you can place the bowl over a pan of boiling water to melt any stubborn bits.
I added some lime juice at this stage – just under half the lime. It depends how much of a citrus taste you want, but I found that to be just right. Stir through thoroughly (and now say that out loud ten times as quickly as you can).
Separate the egg whites into another bowl. Glass or ceramic is best for this, as plastic bowls can tend to retain some grease, and that will scupper your efforts to whip up your whites.
I tend to crack the egg on the side of the bowl and pass the yolk from shell to shell until all the white has drained away, but whatever works for you.
Keep yolks to one side.
Whisk! If you don’t have a hand held whisk or a fancy stand mixer then hopefully the Lord blessed you with strong arms.
When the eggs start to fluff up, add the sugar and keep whisking until they are stiff and glossy. People are a bit precious about egg whites but generally I don’t think there’s anything to freak out about, just slow down a bit when they start to stiffen up – the sugar will help stabilise them and it’s unlikely you’ll go over if you’re looking at what you’re doing.
Whisk the egg yolks in. Your mixture should yellow a bit, and will loose a little of its structure – don’t panic!
Put a scoop of your eggs (up to a third) into the chocolate mix and fold in to loosen it up (middle photo). This will help you to not knock out all the air from your moussabub, if you do it all at once you’ll lose your bubbles.
Add the rest of the eggs and gently fold the mixture together. Turn the bowl as you do so it to help you get everything together without flattening it. Patience is a must here.
Spoon into serving dishes and put in the fridge (allow at least 4 hours I’d say). Try not to disturb them too much, and no poking, those bubbles are precious!
Remember that bit of lime peel you put aside? Well, it makes lovely whirly bits for the tops. If you have one of those fancy zester tools then you won’t need my hillbilly method, but this is the best thing I could think of!! If you know how the professionals do it then answers on a postcard please.
At least 20 mins before serving make thin strips from your piece of peel. Curl them up and put them in the handle of a peg as shown above. Leave them to sit until you are ready to rock and roll. Place on top of each dessert.
NB: If you make your mousse the night before then either keep your peel in a bit of water and take out to dry an hour before serving, or wrap in tinfoil and put in the fridge. Don’t cut up and coil until just before you want to use it as they will dry out and shrink.
You might also try breaking up a biscuit (ginger would work well) or grating some chocolate on top for a bit of a different texture.