On my very first trip abroad I traveled to Italy in the springtime. In Florence I tasted a simple but memorable dessert of wild strawberries tossed in balsamic vinegar with a bit of sugar. 30 years later I recalled that dessert when I came upon this recipe in the chocolate cookbook Chococo from the UK. The chocolate mousse combines the classic combination of balsamic and berries with dark chocolate. Use good quality balsamic and chocolate for the best taste. The mousse is layered over macerated berries then topped with fresh berries. It is a fresh take on traditional chocolate mousse and so pretty to serve for Valentine’s Day.
BALSAMIC BERRY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
- 2/3 cup fresh strawberries
- 2/3 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar, and more to dust
- 150 g dark chocolate 70% cacao or higher
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks at room temperature
- 3 egg whites at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon aged btalsamic vinegar
- Reserve enough berries to top your mousse for serving. Using a fork, mash the berries slightly and toss with the icing sugar. Divide equally on the bottom of your serving dishes. If using small espresso cups, you will get 6 small servings. I used martini glasses and got 3 servings.
- Melt the chocolate, add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time and then add the balsamic.
- With a handheld electric mixer and in another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the light brown sugar and whisk again to peaking.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate and only mix until incorporated so as not to deflate the egg whites.
- Spoon the mousse into each serving dish.
- Set in refrigerator, covered, at least 1 hour or overnight. When ready to serve, top with the reserved berries and dust with a bit of icing sugar.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles M Schulz
Happy Valentine’s Day!