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Food

Eric Chavot's ultimate chocolate mousse

by Sarah Randell

Serves: 8

I recently met Eric Chavot at his sumptuous new London restaurant Brasserie Chavot (a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus), and we got chatting about the ultimate chocolate mousse.

'My mum used to make one big pot of chocolate mousse and put it in the fridge for 24 hours to set. My father couldn't keep away from it, so the pot would always be empty by the time she looked at it the next day!' he said. 'I learnt a lesson from this and now divide the chocolate mousse between eight glasses or ramekins, and hide one at the back of the fridge to make sure there is always one left for me.'

We made Eric's chocolate mousse here in our test kitchens and, let me tell you, it's a fine recipe. This is a mousse for grown-ups – intensely chocolaty. Eric uses just a pinch of sugar, but we liked it slightly sweeter, so used a teaspoonful.

Top the mousse with sweetened Chantilly cream or crème fraîche and grated chocolate. I was bowled over by how light it was despite its luxurious richness. Eric's kitchen secret? 'Make sure you chill the mousse for at least 24 hours; the bubbles burst during the chilling time, which increases the lightness of the mousse.'

What's your favourite classic dessert? Tell us in the comments box below.

ERIC CHAVOT'S MUM'S CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients

  • 250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 50ml water (or 25ml warm espresso coffee and 25ml Baileys)
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 8 large free range eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • cocoa nibs, grated chocolate and crème fraîche, to serve

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie with the water (or warm espresso and Baileys) and, when melted, add the butter. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Stir in the egg yolks.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with the sugar and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Mix a third of the whites into the mousse (the chocolate mix will be stiff, and this will loosen it). Gently fold in the remaining egg whites, in batches.
  4. Divide between eight glasses or ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  5. Top with crème fraîche, cocoa nibs and grated chocolate, to serve.

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