Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse
I first came across a version of this voluptuously soft, rich chocolate mousse at Morito, one of my favorite places to eat in London. Then – as these things tend to happen – I started finding it everywhere. The olive oil doesn’t just bring its resonant flavor to the mousse, it creates its smooth, soft texture. Go for a smooth but still spicy rather than raspingly peppery extra-virgin olive oil, and use the absolute best quality you can.
Bittersweet chocolate, preferably min. 70% cocoa solids – 6 ounces, roughly chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil – 7 tablespoons
Eggs – 4 large, at room temperature, separated
Sea salt flakes – a pinch, plus ¼ teaspoon—or halve amounts if using fine sea salt
Superfine sugar – ¼ cup
6 x ½ cup ramekins or 8 espresso cups
Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a large heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water (but not touching the water), making sure – either way – you remove it from the heat before it is completely melted, then stir it gently so that the last little pieces of chocolate dissolve. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the oil to combine and set aside for a moment.
Whisk the egg whites and a pinch of sea salt flakes in a grease-free bowl until you have firm peaks. Set aside for the moment.
In another bowl, large enough to take everything later, whisk the yolks, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt flakes until pale, thick, and about doubled in volume. You don’t need to clean the beaters when going from whites to yolks.
Gradually pour the chocolate-oil mixture into the beaten yolks and fold to mix completely. Add a third of the beaten egg whites and fold in vigorously to lighten the mixture; no need to be delicate at this stage. Now gently fold in another third of the egg whites and, when that second lot is incorporated, fold in the final third leaving behind any liquid at the bottom of the bowl of whites. No white streaks should be visible.
In a rather freeform way, gently spoon the mousse into your ramekins or cups. To get the right texture – soft and satiny, rather than set like a more traditional mousse – you can either refrigerate for 20 minutes then eat straight away, or for exactly one hour and then take out to come to room temperature for 40 minutes before eating.
Excerpted from the book AT MY TABLE by Nigella Lawson. Copyright © 2018 by Nigella Lawson. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Jonathan Lovekin.