How do I love thee? Let me count the chocolatey ways …….
I thought of serving you a traditional chocolately dessert for Valentines. You know the one with whipped cream and red ripe berries tossed in to make the dish picture perfect. Then I paused. Is this really symbolic of the way I feel for you? I mean, do I consider my love for you to be ordinary. The same love as everyone else around me, the ones standing on the street corner, with a bouquet of red roses, they just picked up from the market, because they “had to”. NO! My love for you is exciting, breathless and adventurous. It is anything but ordinary. I longed for my creation for you to be sultry, sinful and sexy. I want to feed you something by the spoonful that would leave you panting for more, while feeling all a little too spicy. I do not want ordinary or the usual token meal of affection; instead I wanted to find something new, something that not everyone would be sharing on Valentine’s Day, something exciting.
I started my search by looking for ancient recipes using aphrodisiacs created by the Greeks. After all, back in the day, the Greeks were known to be the world’s wisest lovers. Of course they indulged in the same everyday aphrodisiacs that we are all so familiar with: oysters, red wine, chocolate, figs, honey, truffles ….. What about the unforgotten aphrodisiacs? Pineapple, rosemary, mustard, carrots and mint; the step-children of aphrodisiacs. Yes, mint! Alexander the Great forbid his soldiers from drinking mint tea before battle, as he wanted them to make war, not love. Persephone, the wife of Pluto, turned the innocent and dainty nymph Mente into greenery as Pluto found her scent to be too irresistible. They say the secret to passion is to combine two aphrodisiacs; for you I have made this sultry chocolate mousse that has been tainted with slightly floral but sweet mint. The perfect Valentine indulgence for you.
Recipe: Minty Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Mouse Components
Whipped Cream Base
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg whites
12 large mint leaves
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
Egg Yolk Base
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons simple syrup
Whipped Cream Ingredients – optional
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Whip 240 ml of heavy cream for the mousse to stiff peaks and set aside in the fridge.
- Combine the second listing of heavy cream, vanilla extract and brown sugar and whip to stiff peaks, cover and set aside in the fridge until serving – this is optional and only for serving
- Make Swiss Meringue. Combine water with the mint leaves. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain. Return minty water to saucepan and add sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until slighly thickened. Remove 3 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside. Put egg whites into a mixing bowl. Whisk until foamy. On medium to high speed of your mixer, continue whisking the egg whites, while slowly pouring in the hot sugar mixture. Continue whisky until light, fluffy and stiff peaks form. Put the mixture into another large bowl and set aside.
- Make chocolate base. Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over the simmering water until melted. It will be very thick, slowly had water water to loosen it up. Whisk until very smooth. Set aside and keep warm, I kept it on the stove top, away from heat.
- Make egg yolk base. Whisk egg yolks in your mixer until broken up and light yellow. Heat simple syrup to a boil. Slowly add to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk until thick and fluffy.
- Fold chocolate base into egg yolk base and gently fold until incorporated. Next, fold in the plain whipped cream until incorporated. Fold in Swiss meringue until incorporated. Store chocolate mousse in fridge until ready to serve.