I’m not sure if I’ve told you think before (and if I have, please feel free to switch off or yell “yes yes, I’ve heard this one already!!”) but I get bored easily. I’m always on the hunt for something new, and it doesn’t have to actually happen, just the idea is enough to keep me going for a week or two. I keep the shiny little gold nuggets that are ideas in the front pocket of my brain (along with some lint and a staple or two) and pull them out every now and again just to revel in the beauty of them.
The bonus of having a short attention-span is that I am also amused easily. I love stupid jokes, I laugh my head off at “Australia’s funniest home videos”, and when Frank gets into one of his comedic moods I am quite often in tears of laughter on the floor for ages.
Frank and I do the grocery shopping together. I think it’s only fair that he shares my pain. But it never ceases to fascinate me how unobservant he can be at times. Last time we went shopping Frank was tasked with picking out the eggs. We rolled up to the isle to find one broken egg splattered on the floor.
With what I assumed was neat avoidance, Frank reached up to pick a box of eggs and then attempted to put them straight into the trolley. So I said “best you make sure that none of them are cracked” (because that always happens to me), and he pulled the carton out and popped it open.
To his surprise there was one egg missing from the carton, to which I tried to say “oh, that’s where the one on the floor must have come from”, but before I could Frank had stepped right on the egg-mess and was wobbling on one foot! Just the sight of Frank made me laugh for about 10 minutes, and the fact that he never even noticed the egg on the floor made me laugh for another 10. Just thinking about it now makes me chuckle! (Although Frank wasn’t pleased with me laughing at him)
Good thing we discovered there was an egg missing, because I needed them for the wonderful recipe below. This is a classic, and I will always keep going back to it for dinner parties. According to my wise and wonderful friend Mrs Swede, mousse is meant to be made with raw eggs and not with cream. Sorry Mom!
Very chocolate-y mousse – recipe adapted from How to Cook Book Two (Delia Smith) and The Delia Collection: Chocolate.
200g dark chocolate
115ml warm water
2.5ml peppermint essence
3 large eggs, separated
40g castor sugar
First of all place the broken-up chocolate and warm water in a large heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly – it should take about 6 minutes.
Now remove it from the heat and give it a good stir until it’s smooth and glossy, then let the chocolate cool for 2-3 minutes before stirring in the egg yolks.
Then give it another good mix with a wooden spoon. Next, in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage, then whisk in the sugar, about a third at a time, then whisk again until the whites are glossy.
Now, using a metal spoon, fold a tablespoon of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest. You need to have patience here – it needs gentle folding and cutting movements so that you retain all the precious air, which makes the mousse light.
Next divide the mousse between the ramekins or glasses (or in this case a tub to transport!) and chill for at least 2 hours, covered with clingfilm.
I think it’s also good to serve the mousse with a blob of softly whipped cream on top, with some chocolate shavings and mint leaves.