Yesterday, twenty years ago, I first met my husband. This might sound a bit cheesy but it was love at first sight. Always thinking of ourselves as a couple as well as parents has and still plays a very important part in our happy relationship but this is a discussion for another time.

Today I wanted to share with you a little treat. A French classic that your family will love. But also a tasty, easy dessert that you will be sure to impress your friends with.

A mousse au chocolat served with financiers. I like to make individual little servings as they look more impressive. A mousse can be served in a glass seating on a small plate with one or two small financiers next to it, a pretty spoon, a few little decorations on the mousse and on the plate such as sugar little hearts or pearls, fresh mint leaves or even flowers.

This mousse is quite intense in chocolate, a real dream for the aficionados. The financiers if you never had them are little almond, pistachios or hazelnuts mouthful of instant gratification, a bit addictive ….

Mousse au chocolat

Ingredients : 200g of good quality cooking dark chocolate (plaistowe dark, Lindt dark are easily found at the supermarket) For an even deeper chocolate experience go for the 70% version // 50g of butter // 4 egg yolks and 5 whites // 2 tbsp of very strong coffee or a brandy of your choice // a pinch of salt

How to : I have a bain-marie saucepan and I use it a lot. This is how I melt together the chocolate cut in smaller pieces with the butter cut as well. If you don’t have such a saucepan make your own and use a smaller one that you seat inside one a bit bigger filled with some water. This will allow the chocolate and the butter to melt smoothly without getting pasty. Alternatively it can be done in your thermomix or a microwave I imagine. Once it is all melted and smooth remove from the heat. We love the taste of coffee combined with chocolate so I just add a little bit of a ristreto and combine it but you can use rhum for example, it is also very nice. Then add your 4 yolks and combine well. On the side whisk the egg whites until they form peaks with a pinch of salt. When ready gently incorporate to them your chocolate mixture. A mousse is a delicate thing so be gentle, no heavy whisking ;-). That’s it, pour the mousse in your individual glasses and leave them in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Tip : We had a bad experience with salmonella 2 years ago and I since am very careful if I do not know the origin of my eggs. To be safe especially when it is really hot I actually whisk and heat my egg whites at the same time in my Thermomix. 7 minutes with the whisk going up to speed 3 and half progressively during the first minute at 70 degrees.

Financiers

Ingredients : 3 egg whites // 100g butter // 120g icing sugar // 30g flour // 75g almond/pistachio/hazelnut meal

How to : I chose to make mine with almonds this time but it is as delicious with pistachios or hazelnuts. Preheat your oven at 240 degrees C. In a small saucepan melt butter until it foams but doesn’t change colour. While this is happening, combine well your dry ingredients, flour, sugar and almond meal (I use my stand mixer with a whisk which allows me to prepare everything quickly but just use a hand whisk the same way). Add the egg whites to the mixture. When all combined, introduce the gently melted butter while you keep whisking until complete absorption. Pour this light, a bit liquidy dough into an about 20 cells mould. I find good quality silicon moulds easy to use. Add an almond on the top of each little cake and place in the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 240 degrees then another 5 minutes at 200 degrees. remove and leave to cool down on a rack.

Tip : make your own almond meal and icing sugar in your thermomix.

Open a bottle of champagne and celebrate!

Steph

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