Photography by Darren Bester
I’ve always loved Chocolate Mousse … light and airy, you can just about feel the air bubbles pop in your mouth and then there’s the tasty moorish decadence of dark chocolate – Heaven! It is rich though, which makes over indulging very easy to do, which is why this time round, I opted to serve them in cute little espresso cups. You can of course, serve yours anyway you want … just don’t pair large portions with a very heavy meal.
Quick and easy to prepare, it can be made a few days ahead of time thereby eliminating any stress when entertaining. Perfect end to an Easter Lunch, I’m sure even the Easter Bunny would agree.
Yield: 4 standard ramekin portions
170g dark good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) – Lindt is a good option
80ml full fat milk
1 egg yolk
4 egg whites
20g caster sugar
Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Stir until chocolate has completely melted and remove from the heat.
Bring the milk to the boil and pour onto the melted chocolate, stirring with a whisk to combine. Add the egg yolk and mix well to combine. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, adding the sugar bit by bit. Using a spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Whisk briskly, before folding in the rest of the whites (fold from the middle of the bowl up and outwards, using your other hand to steady and turn the bowl as you go). Ensure the egg whites are well incorporated but be careful to not over work the mixture.
Pour the mousse into individual ramekins or 1 large bowl. If you want to serve in espresso cups or another dainty cup, use a piping bag to fill the cups neatly. Chill for at least an hour.
Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired.
The eggs should be very fresh. Use them cold but not icy and not at room temperature.
I love Pasta ! When I moved to London in my early twenties, I had my first taste of basil pesto and fell in love! I would drench it over big bowls of pasta with bacon and mushrooms and I simply could. not. stop. eating. it. Needless to say that when I flew home a year later on holiday, friends and family practically bypassed me at the airport due to not recognising me … or rather, the size of me 😮
I’ve learnt to practice portion control since then and don’t make pasta part of our families weekly menu. I am however, a firm believer in the ‘everything in moderation’ mantra and therefore do not see anything wrong with enjoying a bowl of pasta every now and then! What is life without pasta? This particular pasta is very fresh and certainly a lot healthier than the bottled pesto jars of my youth. The flavours marry together beautifully, so simple but really packs a tasty flavour which makes this pasta dish, restaurant quality! I’ve made it for friends and they have asked for the recipe. Nough said 🙂
Yield: 4 – 5
500g dried penne pasta
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste
2 – 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
450ml of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc / Chenin)
450g peeled & de-frosted ready to eat prawns
4 tbs sun-dried tomato puree
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
4 big handfuls of rocket, chopped
Salt & Black Pepper
Follow the cooking instructions for the pasta and while that is on the go, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a big frying pan and add the garlic and chilli – cook on a gentle heat ensuring not to burn the garlic. After a minute or 2, add the white wine and the tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes until the alcohol has been cooked away together with the acidity of the tomatoes. Drain your pasta and reserve a little of the cooking liquid. Once the sauce is to your taste, add the prawns and mix through. Remove from the heat. Return the pasta to its pot and add the sauce, stir to combine. Add the lemon juice, the lemon zest and half the rocket and 20 or 30 mL of the reserved cooking water. Taste. Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper. Heat through on the stove top. Plate and garnish with the remaining rocket.
Cooks Notes: I buy the Woolworths ‘Frozen fully cooked Prawns’ and the Woolworths ‘Sundried Tomato Quarters’. With the tomatoes, I drain the vinaigrette it comes in and blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor / blender to a lumpy puree type consistency.