Cointreau and chocolate mousse

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Cointreau and chocolate mousse
This mousse is a French classic but contains raw eggs - so please don't serve to your pregnant wife (or mistress)! The bitter chocolate and booze make it quite grown up and because it's best made a day ahead it's a great no-fuss dinner party dessert. If you prefer, the cointreau and candied orange peel can be substituted (amaretto and brandy both work well) but give a slightly 70's retro feel which I really like.
  • 125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cointreau
  • 4 room temperature eggs, separated
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 25g dark chocolate, melted
1. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.2. Stir in the cointreau and cook for one minute, then transfer to a clean bowl to cool slightly.3. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a clean, dry mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Then slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks are left when the whisk is removed. Tip: eggs at room temperature will incorporate more air than those straight from the fridge.4. When the chocolate is lukewarm, stir in the egg yolks - but be careful, if the mixture is too hot you will end up with "chocolate scrambled eggs".5. Carefully fold in the whisked egg whites trying to retain as much air as possible.6. Transfer to serving bowls and refrigerate for 24 hrs. This will allow the consistency to set.7. To make the candied orange peel, remove large pieces of skin with a Y-shaped speed peeler, scrape off any remaining pith and cut into very thin slices.8. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then drain and run under cold water. Repeat.9. Put the blanched peel into a small saucepan with 3 tbsp water and 2 tbsp caster sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. The peel will turn translucent. Leave to cool in the syrup until required.10. To serve, drizzle the top of each mousse with a little melted chocolate and garnish with candied peel.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4