Instant chocolate mousse with marinated strawberries

DSC_0168This has been my go-to recipe for chocolate mousse for years. Celebrated for its quickness (and I kid you not this is instant mousse), amazingly it is also as delicious as any traditional chocolate mousse. By traditional I mean a mousse that has eggs in it, which necessitates  hours of resting in the fridge before serving. In this recipe the eggs are swapped for marshmallows – a genius invention by fellow lazy chef Nigella Lawson. We’re talking rather large quantities of marshmallows, though, so stick to dark chocolate – 75% cocoa or even 80 % – or your mousse will be sweeter than sweet.

I like to experiment with different toppings – but they will always have an acidic note to balance the sweetness of the mousse. This time I marinated some strawberries with sugar and lemon zest for a fresh and fruity twist. I love how the juices from the strawberries stream down the mountain of mousse and mix with every chocolatey spoonful. Pure joy.

Makes 4 (large) mousses:
150 mini marshmallows (if you can’t get mini then chop up some regular sized marshmallows)
50 g butter
250 g dark chocolate, minimum 75 % cocoa, broken into pieces
60 ml hot water (from a recently boiled kettle)
285 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the strawberry topping:
100 g fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
zest of ½ lemon

1. Slice the strawberries and put in a small bowl with sugar and lemon zest. Give it a good toss and leave to set in the fridge.

2. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a saucepan.

3. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

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

5. Pour into 4 glasses or ramekins and put in the fridge until chilled (20 minutes or so). Heap a spoonful of marinated strawberries on the centre of each mousse and serve.

Adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

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