How often do you have an idea of a recipe in your mind, that stays with you until is has seen the light of day? I have that a lot; last week, I wanted to make a white dessert with fruit, to be more specific with mandarin, but needed a few trials to get it right. I tried with a simple lemon flavored light pudding that came out wonderful, but wasn’t super in flavor, then I tried a white chocolate mousse, which came out nice as well and also tasted divine. Like a velvety substance was making its way through my mouth. Third options was to combine the fruit with my favorite sweet dessert – an intense dark chocolate mousse, I almost knew the colors wouldn’t work well together, but I tried it anyway and unfortunately I was right; the orange-brown color combination was not impressive. The best combination was White Chocolate Mousse with Mandarin.
When I go out to dinner it is not often that I order a desserts – it’s not that I don’t like desserts, it’s more about eating more than I need or want to. The main course is by far my favorite, so usually I pick that dish first and then decide whether I want to look for an appetizer and when the restaurant pleasantly surprised me with their dishes, I may want to see the dessert menu. If the main course was nothing special, I usually don’t even want to know about their desserts. For me the route to a dessert should be paved with deliciousness.
At home, I apply more or less the same philosophy. I make a dessert when I also prepare a nice dinner, after a quick weekday dinner I usually don’t. Funny though, because making desserts is fun and I like doing it, just don’t do it often enough. How about you? How often do you serve dessert at home?
The basis of this White Chocolate Mousse with Mandarin is a traditional chocolate mousse recipe, made from melted white chocolate, egg yolks, egg whites and cream and sugar. Cutting the mandarin slices may need a little practice. During my nutrition studies, I did a couple of weeks internship in a hospital kitchen and some of the chefs there came for the restaurant business and they taught me some tricks of the trade. One is those was how to peel citrus fruit in a way that no pith is left.
Slice a little bit off the top and bottom and place the mandarin on one of the cut sides. Trim away the skin and pith with a flexible knife; I think it is called a fillet knife. The beauty of this type of knife is that you can cut the peel off following the curve of the fruit and you’ll end up with a beautiful round fruit. Take your time doing this, it is worth it. When you use a standard kitchen knife you often end up with straight cuts, which I think are less beautiful.
Once the fruit is cleaned, you need to cut thin slices, cut a thin as you dare and you have the best result in this particular dessert. Once the slices are cut, you will need to work fast as the slices will release juice and you need as little juice as possible. Extra juice may upset the mousse – so work fast and the result will be there.
White Chocolate Mousse with Mandarin
- 4 3/8 ounces white chocolate
- 2 whole egg yolks
- 2 whole egg whites
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 4-5 mandarins
- mint leaves
- Make the mandarin slices: Slice a little off the top and bottom and place the mandarin on one of the cut sides.Trim away the skin and pith. Use a small and flexible knife and start at the top and slice downwards following the curve of the fruit. Cut away as much of the skin and pith as possible, but don't cut too deep, because you will take too much of the fruit. Turn the fruit around and cut off the pieces that you missed. Place the mandarin on it side and cut thin slices. Enough to cover the inside of 4 small bowls or 2 larger bowls.
- Chop the chocolate fine and melt it in the microwave or au-bain-marie.
- Beat the egg yolks until pate, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the warm chocolate and beat again, until well mix. Allow to cool.
- Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form and store in fridge.
- Beat the egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form and store this also in the fridge.
- When the chocolate mixture is cool, fold the whipped cream into it.
- Then fold the beaten egg whites into the cream/chocolate mixture.
- Cover the inside of 4 small bowls or 2 larger bowls with the mandarin slices.
- Pour the chocolate mousse in the prepared bowls and refrigerate overnight.
- Place a plate on top of the bowl and reverse. Slowly remove the bowl from the mousse.
- Decorate with mandarin and mint and serve.