from one generation to the next
As young newlyweds in the seventies, we often hosted dinner parties for family and friends. They were simple, casual and good fun. Entertaining business associates and their spouses on the other hand was nerve racking. It was all about making a good impression. The house would be cleaned from top to toe, the table set with the best china and crystal, the food designed to impress. French onion soup and individual beef Wellingtons followed by pots of chocolate orange mousse was a my go-to winter menu one year. I groan at the thought of all that rich food now, especially as elaborate canapes would have preceded the main event and petit fours concluded it.
I like to think I was food service savvy even then. I planned each course so that minimum effort was required at the dinner hour. The soup simply needed reheating, the beef to be baked and as for dessert, it was chilled in individual serving bowls with the garnish already in place.
These days I rarely eat dessert, and if I do, I prefer vanilla and fruity flavour profiles to chocolate, but as the ever diminishing bag of Lindt bittersweet chocolate will attest, someone in my household can’t get enough. It’s probably 20 years since I last made chocolate mousse, I’m not sure why it went out of fashion, but it deserves a reprise. This mousse is light in texture but intensely flavoured. It would be perfect with a glass of Cointreau.
Melt chocolate sugar and water together over a low heat. Cool.
Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks.
Stir the egg yolks into chocolate, then fold in whites, 1/3 at a time.
Spoon into pretty dessert bowls.
Chill for 4 hrs before serving garnished with orange zest.