Tuesday, October 09, 2007

September 24, 2007: Maya gold chocolate mousse

Last month a post from Neil of At My Table reminded me of the importance of seeking out Fair Trade chocolate, and subsequently led me to a Fair Trade chocolate blog event over at R khooks. Fortunately, buying Fair Trade chocolate is just getting easier and easier for me - Green & Black's brand is now available at my local Safeway, and their Maya Gold is one of my all-time favourites. This is a dark chocolate with "spices and a twist of orange". And what better way to savour those subtle flavours than in a chocolate mousse? To extend the taste, I added a pinch of cinnamon to the mousse and tried my hand at some candied orange rind to garnish.

Unfortunately my hand is not so adept at the gentle folding that gives a mousse its light, airy texture. I ended up with some fairly dense dessert cups but the rich, buttery texture was still thoroughly enjoyable, especially when teamed with the chewy strips of rind.

I won't effusively recommend the mousse recipe since I didn't master it and I won't effusively recommend the candied rinds because, nice as they are, they're rather labour-intensive. However, I will channel all my effusiveness into recommending you buy Fair Trade chocolate (and coffee) products whenever possible: let no-one else bear the cost of the pleasure these luxuries give you.

I'm far too late (and too honest about my mediocre result) to enter this into the Stop the Traffik chocolate competition. Still, head on over to R khooks to see some more delicious and more timely entries.

Spiced chocolate mousse
(based on this recipe from Simply Recipes)

2/3 cup double cream
90g Green & Black's Maya Gold chocolate (eat the last row of your 100g block as you cook!)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, separated

Whip the cream until soft peaks form, and put it in the fridge.

Using a double boiler (or two-saucepan set-up) with hot water in the lower saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring continually. When the mixture is fully melted and smooth, remove it from the heat and let it cool until "it is just slightly warmer than body temperature". Stir in the cinnamon.

Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form.

When the chocolate's ready stir in the egg yolks, then one third of the whipped cream. Fold in half the egg whites until just combined. Repeat with the remaining whites, then the remaining cream.

Using a spoon or a piping bag, transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or set of glasses (this should make 4-6 serves). Refrigerate for about 8 hours, up to a day.

Candied orange rinds
(taken from this page at Epicurious)

3 large navel oranges
1 cup castor sugar

Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of rind from the oranges, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. I found that while the strips were still moist, it wasn't too difficult to scrape the remaining pith from the strips with a knife. Slice the rinds into thinner strips. Place them in a small saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring them to the boil, then drain the rind strips. Repeat this process with fresh water, then pat the strips dry.

Over moderate heat, bring 2 cups of water and the sugar to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Drop in the rind strips and simmer them until they soften and go translucent, stirring occasionally along the way. This will take about 25 minutes.

Take the saucepan off the heat and allow it to cool. Drain the rinds - the original recipe instructs you to discard the syrup but I'm sure you can find something nice to do with it! (I'll have a recipe up in a day or two.) Set a cake rack over a baking tray and spread out the rinds across it to dry properly. Give them an hour or so - they'll still be sticky but much more manageable.


  1. Ah but Maya Gold is now in the Cadbury's stable. If they really had a commitment to fair trade their whole range would turn in this direction. The irony is it is mainly because of cadbury that fair trade chocolate started up - as a reaction against them!

    Though I must admit the idea of using Maya gold in a mousse is pretty compelling. I do a luxurious dairy free version http://confessionsofafoodnazi.blogspot.com/2007/05/handwritten-recipes-in-old-book-pages.html which i might try with this choc instead next time!

  2. Yes, AOF, I was aware of the link to Cadbury! I just hope that by buying their FT-accredited brands I'm sending them a small consumer message about what's important to me.

    Thanks for reminding me of your dairy-free mousse recipe - I read it when you originally posted it but had forgotten about it since then!

  3. Hey cindy,
    Thanks for taking the time to discover fairtrade chocolate. Your mousse looks delish!
    I'll be doing another one of these events, after the success of this one, next year sometime. I'll look forward seeing some tasty chocolate recipe from you.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, R khooks! I'll keep an eye out for next year's event and hopefully not schedule a holiday in the middle of it. :-D

  5. the mousse looks inviting Cindy!

  6. I think you're being far too modest. The mousse looks wonderful! The chocolate sounds pretty good too!

  7. Thank you, Truffle! :-) If you enjoy the chocolate/orange pairing, I can highly recommend Maya Gold.

  8. Cindy, you might like Jamie's new book, it's all about his garden so there are a lot of vegie dishes and some with meat but you could easily omit that aspect of the recipes. Angus and Robertson have it at half price! Vida x

  9. Thanks for the tip, Vida! I actually watched the Jamie at Home show last night (I don't usually) and he was doing some incredible (and completely vego) things with tomatoes!