Sunday, May 04, 2008

Revenge of the mousse

Yesterday afternoon I made a quick dash to the supermarket and, on a whim, decided that I would gather up the ingredients to make the Quick Chocolate Mousse recipe from my school's cook book that was made for, and distributed at, the recent reading picnic. I'd been given a sample of the finished mousse on the big day, and I have been curious to see if it was really as easy to make as it seemed.

I guessed a little enthusiastically on quantities while shopping, and managed to buy twice as much chocolate, cream and marshmallows as necessary, so I simply doubled the amounts. Unwise, on reflection, because the melting marshmallows grew enormous in the microwave oven, and the mid-procedure cleanup was tricky - melted marshmallow mixture is not only very, very hot, but it sticks like the strongest adhesive ever invented. If the mess didn't attract ants, it would make amazing quick-set glue!

The sensible quantities, as described in the actual recipe, required 125g dark chocolate, broken into small squares, 100g marshmallows, 300ml thickened cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. (Oh, I just realised I used ordinary cream last night, and it worked fine!)

You then simply combine the chocolate and marshmallows over a double saucepan, stirring over simmering water until melted, or microwave on "High" for about one and a half minutes. (I microwaved the marshmallows separately, but in a bowl too small for the job, intending to stir in the chocolate squares later, but that was a decision made before I glued a fork, a spoon, my fingers and several other things to the sides of the container, and the inner walls of the microwave oven, when the hot marshmallow overflowed! (You know, I had a latent memory fragment of marshmallows melting into a clear liquid, but these were just white, cumulus fluff.) It was like karmic payback that I ended up with a panicky clean-up job before the housemate arrived home and discovered what I'd done to the kitchen.

Anyway, you then just gradually stir in the cream and vanilla, and pour out into separate serving bowls if liked. (I left mine in the big bowl I'd turned my melted marshmallows into, and it worked.) Refrigerate overnight - and secretly enjoy the huge wad of stickjaw chocolate fudge that may accumulate on the stirring fork, if you're lucky. (Those last few scrapes of hot chocolate/marshmallow hitting the cold cream mixture was a yummy, fortunate mistake of an afterthought.)

Serve with more cream and more chocolate, as mentioned in the recipe's extravagant "serving suggestion". And thank the heavens it's Junk Food Day today.

Sunday's magic number: 94.0. Ooopsie. Mmmm, pass the mousse, but hold the antlers.

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