White Chocolate Mousse

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For a dinner party, put the fresh raspberry purée in the bottom of attractive wine glasses and pipe the mousse over the top.

Ingredients

  • oz. white couverture chocolate, broken into pieces (about ¾ cup), plus ½ oz., finely grated
  • sheets of leaf gelatin
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry framboise (eau de vie), optional
  • cups whipping cream, whisked until it starts to thicken

Raspberry Purée

  • 14 oz. fresh raspberries confectioners’ sugar, to taste

6-8 wine glasses or glass dishes a nonstick baking tray

Method

To make the raspberry purée, put the fruit in a blender with confectioners’ sugar to taste, and whizz until smooth. If you prefer a smooth result, push the raspberry purée through a fine-mesh nylon strainer to remove the seeds. Divide the purée among the glass dishes.

Put the chocolate pieces in the top of a double boiler set over simmering, but not boiling, water (do not let the bottom of the pan touch the water). Melt the chocolate gently, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove the top pan from the heat and let the chocolate cool.

Put the gelatin in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Let soak for 3 minutes until soft, then drain off the water.

Meanwhile, spread the sugar on a nonstick baking tray and warm it in a preheated oven at 325°F for 5 minutes. Put the egg whites in a large bowl, add half the warmed sugar, and beat with a hand-held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in the remaining sugar until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Whisk in the framboise, if using.

Heat the softened gelatin over very low heat, swirling the pan, until it dissolves. Add it to the beaten egg whites and stir gently with a large metal spoon to mix. Gently fold in the cooled chocolate, then fold in the whisked cream until the mixture is smooth. Finally stir in the grated chocolate.

Spoon the mousse on top of the puréed fruit. Alternatively, for a special occasion, pipe the mixture from a large pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain nozzle. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Variation

Replace the raspberry purée with a prune version, if you prefer. Put 2 cups soft pitted prunes in a saucepan with 1 cup weak Earl Grey tea and simmer for about 10 minutes until soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth. Continue as above.