I adore chocolate mousse, it is a dessert I remember very fondly from my childhood. For me there was something about eating the mousse so slowly, like half a teaspoon at a time and allowing the bubbles to gently and almost magically ‘melt’ on your tongue. Hence when I came across a recipe for an instant chocolate mousse in Nigella Express I was very intrigued and eager to give it a go.
Hang on a minute though, doesn’t chocolate mousse require hours of setting time in the fridge? How can this be otherwise? What makes it instant? The secret is the addition of marshmallows, which through their gelatinous structure provide the setting agent for this mousse.
The very notion of adding marshmallows to top notch 70% plus chocolate seems inherently wrong, but, it does seem to work. It seems to give the mousse more substance, and indeed it does only need a few minutes in the fridge before serving. If it’s left in the fridge over night it’s too solid for my liking, but left out to have the chill taken off it again and it becomes fine again.
The French word mousse which means “lather” or “foam” and so follows that “Mousse au chocolat” translates as “foamy chocolate”. This unfortunately didn’t match those standards, the instant mousse was light given all the whipped cream, but not all that foamy or airy. I suspect it is the use of beaten egg whites that provides that most luscious of textures. Still though the instant version was still delicious, happen it would have been better named instant chocolate pudding. Come to think of it the texture was very similar to that of Angel Delight.
I can also see the mousse working well as a cake or cupcake topping, in its more cooled and thus more solid state it would have the perfect consistency and a truly gorgeous texture.
This certainly won’t replace the more ‘traditional’ mousse recipes I use, but if someone turns up for supper unexpectedly this could easily be whipped up in 10 minutes for a quick and delicious end to the meal. Another bonus is that it is suitable for those unwilling or unable to eat raw eggs.
Nigella says this makes 4-6 servings, I would go 6-8 as it was really intense.