With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to share one of my favorite family recipes. A gem from the archives given a new shine, this is my updated take on my late Aunt Wini’s recipe for Rich Dark Chocolate Mousse.
Wini’s recipe is not only delicious, it’s also one of the quickest dessert recipes in existence — it seriously takes about five minutes to make. The process is ingenious in its simplicity. You simply put all the ingredients in a blender, add hot milk, blend, then pour into serving dishes and let it chill for at least six hours, or up to a day ahead. What results is a perfectly silky, dessert with concentrated dark chocolate flavor, more of a pot de crème than a mousse.
To take the recipe into the 21st century, I made a few changes. First, I replaced the semisweet chocolate chips and baker’s chocolate in Wini’s version with 70% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Bars from Guittard, a local Silicon Valley favorite. I also used less sugar than the original version.
I could have stopped there and had a great, basic dark chocolate pot de crème, but it’s always fun to incorporate seasonal flavors into a classic dessert. Citrus is beautiful this time of year, and orange and chocolate are a natural pairing. The zest of a small navel orange is plenty, its flavor becoming more prominent as the dessert sets up in the fridge. California olive oil from Frantoio Grove adds a subtle bitterness and silky mouthfeel, and a pinch of sea salt helps all of the flavors bloom.
Garnish your pots de crème with a shower of sea salt crystals just before serving, and you’ll have the perfect, sophisticated dessert to cap off a romantic dinner at home.
Chocolate Pots de Crème with Orange, Olive Oil, & Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon sea salt crystals
- Combine the eggs, sugar, chocolates, and salt in the blender and set aside.
- Heat the milk in a small (1-quart) saucepan until it is scalding hot (180ºF).
- Pour the milk into the blender with the other ingredients, then immediately blend on a medium setting until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the blender once or twice during blending.
- Add the olive oil and orange zest to the blender, then blend on a low setting for two or three one-second pulses.
- Pour the mixture into ramekins or other serving dishes. Chill for at least six hours, and garnish with sea salt crystals just before serving.