Do you know how exciting the whole “mug cookie” thing was for me?
Odds are that if you’re here we had a similar reaction to it. Like, I can basically have a cookie-cake hybrid whenever I want? Get the person that finally made this part of our reality a Pulitzer or something.
Well, I’ve got another single serving dessert for you. It’s my Bitter Orange Chocolate Mousse… for one. Granted, this doesn’t have the same almost instant gratification that a mug cookie does—you need to either freeze it for about 20 – 30 minutes or give it a good 2 hours in the fridge to really set up—it’s the sort of thing you can whip up pretty easily in the morning and spend the rest of the day at your desk with a smug smile on your face knowing what’s waiting for you at home.
I also realize the craving for chocolate mousse is a little more specific, more niche, than a cookie craving, but when the craving hits your only choice was to make a big dinner-party-sized batch of chocolate mouse, which you’d be forced to eat all of. That is until now. It’s very simple to make, and frankly because the quantities are so small, particularly with regards to the egg white and the heavy cream, you can whip it incredibly easily just by hand. That said I’ve gravitated more towards my handmixer recently because it does make for a smoother mousse (it’s also easier and I’m lazy).
And this one in particular is a bitter orange mousse after all. I have nothing against sweet or milk chocolate, the overly sweet and cloyingly creamy sweets that seem to have a much greater mass appeal, but when I really want to indulge I want dark decadence. The floralness of oranges works so well with chocolate but by using something a little bit on the bitter side helps to keep it from becoming too orange-y. Typically I use Campari, a bitter and herbaceous Italian orange liqueur (as seen in the popular Negroni) but this last round I realized that I was fresh out (too many prosecco and Campari cocktails will do that to anyone, okay?!) so I turned to my handy bottle of Angostura orange bitters. Not quite the same—not as forwardly orange in flavor here—but by god it worked fabulously!
If orange and chocolate aren’t your thing though don’t let that stop you. I’ve done this with everything from amaretto and Frangelico to wild cherry brandy or Framboise. My most recent pairing discovery with this mousse was adding a slug of Ancho Reyes, an acho chili liqueur, to the mix. It brought a gentle but palatable smokiness and subtle warmth that was out of this world.
Next time you feel a craving for dark chocolate and sheer bliss coming on give this a try. And if you’re looking for other ideas for how to feed you and you only (a totally pleasurable experience) look no further than right HERE.
Oh… follow me on BLOGLOVIN’ I guess.
|1 (you, and nobody else but you)||20 minutes|
Chocolate Mousse for One
The best part of this mousse is that, well, its mousse… for one.
- 1 ounce dark chocolate (70% cacao minimum), roughly broken
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 egg divided
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 t-spoon sugar
- 2 t-spoons Campari (see note)
- Small pinch instant espresso powder
- A very small pinch kosher salt
- Whipped cream, chocolate shavings for serving (optional)
- Cut the butter into smaller bits and throw them into a liquid measuring cup with the broken bits of chocolate, espresso powder, and salt. Microwave it on high for 30 – 45 seconds, until the chocolate is mostly melted but some chunks are still present. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and everything is smooth with a fork. Set aside for a minute or two.
- Crack open the egg and dump the white into one bowl and slide the egg yolk into the chocolate cup and whisk quickly until absolutely homogenously combined.
- With a clean whisk whip the egg whites until they get to medium peaks, sprinkle in the sugar and whisk until they form stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream until it, too, forms into stiff peaks. Splash in the Campari and whisk again just to combine it all.
- To the chocolate mixture, plunk in about a third of the whites and beat until it’s all combined, lightening the chocolaty, eggy base. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites and the heavy cream into the base until completely combined, still taking care not to deflate the whites and cream as you do.
- Decant into a glass and stash back in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to set or in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can top it with whipped cream and shaved chocolate if you want or have the patience but if you don’t I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
- Campari works so well with chocolate here but if you need something a little less bitter give it a splash of Cointreau instead. More recently I've made this with orange bitters (Angostora) because I ran out of Campari (prosecco and Campari will do that) and it sooo works. Don't feel limited to orange either; I've used amaretto, Frangelico, framboise, and, my most recent discovery, an ancho chili liqueur called Ancho Reyes. You won't regret that one.