Recipe Courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2016) and taken from a book called Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe.
This chocolate mousse is improved by adding raspberries and cream, with honeycomb shards for pure theatre.
Ingredients: 120g chocolate, with at least 80g dark chocolate; 4 eggs, separated; 1 tbsp caster sugar.
Honeycomb Shards: 165g granulated sugar; 1 ½ tbsp runny honey; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Raspberry Cream: 100ml double cream; ½ tsp vanilla paste (optional); 50g fresh or frozen raspberries
Step One: First melt the chocolate, either in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or gently in the microwave (on medium for bursts of 30 seconds).
Step Two: Next, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks with a tiny pinch of salt, then slowly add the sugar and keep whisking until you have stiff peaks.
Step Three: Lightly beat the egg yolks, then add to the slightly cooled chocolate and use a whisk to combine. Gently fold in about a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest. Pour into a serving dish (or small glasses) and leave to set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Step Four: For the honeycomb shards, line a large tray with baking paper. Combine the sugar, honey and 1 ½ tablespoons of water in a tall, heavy-based pan and heat until it registers 154oC (310oF) on a sugar thermometer. This is called the ‘cracking stage’. If you don’t have a thermometer, test by dropping a little of the syrup into a bowl of cold water and then fishing out the result: if it is still stretchy, keep cooking: if it ‘snaps’, it is ready.
Step Five: Take the pan off the heat and sift in the bicarbonate of soda. Be careful – the mixture is hot and it will foam and rise up the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined, then pour it onto the baking sheet, getting it as thin as you can and smoothing it out with a spatula. Leave the honeycomb for at least 15 minutes to set. Store in a cool, dry place – but not the fridge, or it will go sticky.
Step Six: Just before serving, make the raspberry cream. Whip the cream and vanilla to soft peaks. Fold through the raspberries, crushing them a little as you go to give pretty red streaks, then spoon over the mousse. Break honeycomb into shards and use to decorate.