Dark and white chocolate mousses on a coffee sauce


Also known as the odd couple, this pair of mousses are opposites in many ways, though almost Identical in their content. One is dark, heavy, intense; the other white, airily light and delicate. The only thing holding together the texture of the mousse is whipped cream, no gelatines nor other support systems, and almost the only flavour is chocolate, as much as the cream can possibly hold up. It hardly needs to be said that the best chocolate you can get your hands on is vital in these circumstances. We use a dark chocolate with 70 per cent cocoa solids, though anything from 55 per cent up is fine. White chocolate, often sneered at by chocolate snobs, is harder to judge. I think the best guide is to look for a simple and short list of Ingredients headed by sugar, cocoa butter and milk powder. Nasty tasting artificial sweeteners should sound the loudest alarm bells. The quantities for each mousse, dark and white, will separately feed six people, as will the coffee sauce. If you want to halve the recipes to make six portions of one scoop of each mousse, you will have to whisk the single egg and egg yolk together and divide them up when stirring them into the chocolates. Otherwise the recipe halves very easily.

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Dark Mousse for Six

  • 150 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 325 mls single or double cream
  • 2 tsps brandy

White Mousse for Six

  • 150 g white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 350 mls single or double cream
  • 2 tsps kirsch

Coffee Sauce for Six

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 mls strong black coffee
  • 30 g icing sugar
  • 50 mls single or double cream
  • 1 tblspn brandy or Tia Maria


THE TECHNIQUE FOR BOTH MOUSSES IS IDENTICAL, except that the melted dark chocolate needs to cool only a little before the next step, whereas the white chocolate won’t blend smoothly with the egg unless it is cooled almost to room temperature. If you want to do both mousses at the same time you will need six clean, dry bowls, and you should melt the white chocolate first but finish the dark mousse first.

Put the chocolate in a bowl over hot water and allow it to melt slowly. Set it aside to cool a little. In another bowl, over the hot water, whisk the egg and egg yolk until they become thick and creamy. Next, whisk the cream until it is softly but firmly whipped, then briefly whisk in the brandy (or kirsch). When it has cooled a little, stir the chocolate and egg together. Then fold this into the whipped cream.

Put the mousses in a covered container in a fridge to chill and firm up; they can then be served in scoops using an ice cream scoop or a spoon. Alternatively, one or both mousses could be put directly into glasses or bowls and allowed to chill in those. The mousses, once they have firmed up, should hold their texture for at least a day, and maybe two.

IN YET ANOTHER BOWL over hot water, slowly whisk the egg yolks, coffee and sugar together until quite thick. Off the heat, stir in the cream and the brandy or Tia Maria, which will thin the sauce again to a silky pouring consistency.