Chocolate Mousse for 2

I have started a new eating regime because I am trying to work off all of those extra pounds I’ve gained from too many yummy things. I will of course remain committed to the blog, but I may chose to do a few more healthy recipes, and if nothing else, the unhealthy ones will have much smaller portion sizes. The thing I struggle with eating healthily is trying to get the most chocolate yumminess in with the least amount of calories. To help achieve that I went hunting for the most chocolatey yumminess and I came up with chocolate mousse. I used Raymond Blanc’s recipe because it uses egg whites and not buckets of cream, so hopefully it wont completely kill the diet. I also halved the recipe to only make 2 servings.

Ingredients

  • 3oz good-quality dark chocolate, minimum 60 per cent cocoa solids, roughly chopped (I used half Green & Blacks and half Hershey’s)
  • 4 free-range egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp lemon juice
  • ¾ oz caster sugar

Method

  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water).
  • Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a large, clean bowl until they form soft peaks. The lemon juice will stabilise the egg whites, make them easier to work with and help to prevent over-whisking.
  • Add the sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks form when the whisk is removed. Do not whisk beyond this stage – the egg whites will start to collapse and separate into dry froth and runny liquid, and you’ll lose all the air that you’ve whisked in.
  • When the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the hot chocolate quickly and vigorously, until thick and well combined – if you add the egg whites in too slowly, their cold temperature can make the hot chocolate seize, solidify and result in a lumpy mousse.
  • Fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture, using a spatula, until all of the egg white has been completely incorporated into the chocolate. Don’t overmix at this stage as you’ll knock out the air bubbles and the mousse will be dense.
  • Spoon the mousse mixture into four Martini glasses (of course I used my ramekins). Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or until set.

Nutritional Info per serving

This is based on a few comparisons from various online sources, so don’t hold me to them too closely.

  • 257 Calories
  • 12.4g Total Fat
  • 36g Total Carbohydrates

For Slimming World followers, the recipes adds up to a whopping 15-20 syns, but it is so worth it.

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Super Simple Pizza Dough

Nothing says the holidays quite like pizza. I have finally decided to try what I have wanted to for ages, home made pizza dough. I used the recipe from Delia online, but I used the method that I learned when making rye bread. I’ll explain as I go, but it’s much simpler and makes sure the yeast is working correctly before wasting the flour.  I used plain flour for the recipe, which gives the pizza base a fine dough rather than the heavy bready dough that really bad pizza bases have. This one is yummy. You really should use a pizza stone to bake this, which I don’t have, so I baked the base without any toppings for a few minutes, before taking it out, turning it over and dressing it, and baking it again. This makes sure that the base isn’t soggy. Of course I love thick pizza base, if you make it super thin I don’t think you’ll have the same problem. Good luck at finding the best bang for your pizza and your oven. 

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (175 g) plain white soft flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon easy-blend dried yeast
  • ½ level teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 To roll out

  • 2-3 level tablespoons polenta (cornmeal)

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to its lowest setting.
  • Begin by warming the flour slightly in the oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven off.
  • Sift the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the olive oil and pour in 4 fl oz (120 ml) hand-hot water water. Now mix to a dough, starting off with a wooden spoon and using your hands in the final stages of mixing. Wipe the bowl clean with the dough, adding a spot more water if there are any dry bits left, and transfer it to a flat work surface (there shouldn’t be any need to flour)
  • Knead the dough for 3 minutes or until it develops a sheen and blisters under the surface (it should also be springy and elastic).
  • You can now either leave the dough on the surface covered by the upturned bowl or transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover it with cling film that has been lightly oiled on the side that is facing the dough. Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in bulk, which will be about an hour at room temperature.
  • Having made the dough and left it to rise, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8, 450°F (230°C), along with the pizza stone or baking sheet.
  • The next stage is to tip the dough back on to a work surface that has been sprinkled generously with polenta to prevent it from sticking. Knock all the air out of the dough and knead it for a couple of seconds to begin shaping it into a ball. Then dust your rolling pin with polenta and roll the dough out to a circle that is approximately 10 inches (25.5 cm) in diameter. Then finish stretching it out with your hands, working from the centre and using the flat of your fingers to push the dough out; it doesn’t need to be a perfect round, but you want it to be a fairly thin-based pizza, with slightly raised edges.
  • Using a thick oven glove, very carefully lift the baking sheet or pizza stone out of the oven and sprinkle it with polenta. Now carefully lift the pizza dough on to the stone or baking sheet and cover the pizza with your choice of filling, taking it up to the raised edge.
  • Bake the pizza on a high shelf for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I found this, the most perfect recipe for dark, rich chocolate buttercream. This is officially the only chocolate buttercream I will use from now on.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  • Cream butter until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  • Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
  • Makes about 2 cups frosting.

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