Dark chocolate mousse with baileys & mascarpone cream

No apologies, this is totally over the top. Just close your eyes and savour the sumptuous richness.

    Serves six

Ingredients

  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • Cocoa powder, to finish (optional)
  • For the Baileys cream:
  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 75ml Baileys
  • 30g caster sugar

Method

  1. Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until light and airy - the longer you whisk, the better, so give it at least eight to 10 minutes. (You could do it by hand, but that would be a big effort.)
  2. While the eggs are whisking, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until they melt completely.
  3. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the chocolate mix to the egg mix in a steady stream - it is important to combine the two gradually but continuously, with the chocolate going into the eggs and not the other way around.
  4. Whisk the cream until it firms up just a little - it needs to reach a loose ribbon stage (when you lift the whisk, the cream dribbling off should create clear lines in the surface before disappearing). Gently fold the semi-whipped cream into the egg and chocolate mix, and pour into a serving bowl. Chill for at least an hour to set.
  5. Make the Baileys cream in advance, or just before serving. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. The cheese will go loose and runny, but it should firm up again. Stop when it reaches a very soft peak consistency.
  6. Serve the mousse directly from the bowl with a huge dollop of Baileys cream on top. Dust with cocoa powder, if you like.
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