Saturday, January 22, 2011

chocolate mousse

My first boyfriend brought me flowers and I made him take them back. He thought he was brightening up my hard week at university, but I was nonplussed. I really liked him; actually, I loved him. But I didn't enjoy receiving presents, and I felt put down by the token gesture of flowers. They seemed pointless to me. Later, much later (too late for him, I'm afraid), I learned to like being given gifts as an expression of love. Flowers no longer fluster me.

They say there are five love languages. Five ways of expressing love: giving gifts, quality time, acts of service, loving words, and loving touch. We each have a way we like to give love (gifts, in my boyfriend's case), and a way we like to receive love--and the ways you prefer to extend and accept love may not be the same. Successful couples know how they each wish to communicate love.

Over the years I have come around to the idea of giving gifts to express love. It has become increasingly natural since I started cooking, and my husband's appreciation of eating has encouraged me even further. Chocolate is a guaranteed way to his heart. Do you know anyone who likes receiving (edible) gifts? Perhaps it's time to give the gift of chocolate mousse.

What ways do you like to give and receive love?

Chocolate Mousse
adapted from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes
serves 4

100 g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
30 g butter
2 egg yolks
1 shot of espresso
1/2 t very fine orange zest
3 egg whites
1 T (15 g) fructose, or 4 t (20 g) sugar

Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave by cooking for 30 seconds at a time. Don't overcook. Mix well.
Whisk the eggs yolks until pale yellow and thick. Then whisk into the chocolate mixture. Add the espresso and orange zest.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks (using an electric mixer or some serious muscle power). Add the fructose (or sugar) and mix 1 minute longer.
Add a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold gently. Add the rest of the egg whites in two stages and fold very gently until the mixture is one colour.
Pour into 4 glasses and refrigerate for at least an hour.


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