Lisa’s Letters Home: Chocolate Marshmallow Mousse

Lisa’s Letters Home: Chocolate Marshmallow Mousse

Someone must have finally remembered to pay our summer bill because it’s hot! And I don’t mean 16C and everyone gets overexcited and digs out their flipflops hot, I mean it’s properly HOT. We’ve spent the past few days basking in the sunshine, turning various shades of bright red (people of British heritage – know your limits.) It’s been glorious. And a little bit painful.

We’ve been cooking most of our meals on the BBQ because the last thing you want to do in this heat is turn on the oven. This goes for desserts, too. It’s been mostly about ice cream and ice lollies this week, although I did have to turn the oven on to bake a birthday cake for my now 4-year-old daughter. That really, really wasn’t pleasant and did you know that fondant icing melts when it’s very hot outside? Neither did I.

We have an ice cream maker, which is a brilliant little thing that churns out some pretty decent ice cream. It was something like £30 and it’s already paid for itself. I wanted to make something a little bit different for dessert this week that still had the chill factor: enter the chocolate mousse.

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Mousse is something that sounds daunting, which the “real deal” is in a way. You have to separate eggs and carefully fold in the whites, and then you need to think about whether or not the people eating your mousse want to eat raw eggs (personally, I’m fine with it but some people want to avoid them.) I have a recipe from Nigella Lawson in “Nigella Express” for a mousse made with melted chocolate, butter, marshmallows, and whipped cream that is easy and can be passed off as something much more complicated. There are several similar versions floating around out there, so feel free to have a play with some variations and see which one you like.

A couple of tips before you start: use dark chocolate if you can because the marshmallows combined with any other chocolate will be far too sweet, and don’t panic if your chocolate separates when you heat it. I’ve already done the panicking for you and discovered that it’s actually fairly easy to remedy. (See “Method”, below.)

Another thing I discovered is that if you’re standing on a stepladder taking a photo of chocolate mousse in your kitchen and you happen to have some builders around the house, they will look at you like you’re completely insane. I’ve learned so much this week!

Lisa’s Letters Home: Chocolate Marshmallow Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups/150g mini marshmallows
  • ½ stick/50g unsalted butter
  • 9oz/250g dark chocolate (I used 72% Green and Blacks chocolate), chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup/60ml hot water
  • 1 cup/284ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a medium pan over low heat.

Melt everything together gently, stirring every now and then.

If the chocolate mixture splits (i.e. turns into a greasy, watery, lumpy goo), grab a hand mixer and blend quickly until it comes together.

It will look thick and glossy, like a ganache

Once melted, remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate until you have a smooth mixture.

Pour into 4-6 glasses or ramekins, and place in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

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