A good chocolate mousse is not only excellent soul food, but it's really simple and quicker than you're probably thinking.
200gm 70% chocolate
50gm softened butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla essence
Teaspoon or two of brandy or cognac (or in this version a teaspoon of Jericho 15 yo Tawny)
5 eggs, separated
1/3 cup of caster sugar
125cl pouring cream
Grated rind of an orange (optional)
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double saucepan with the water in the bottom pan simmering over a low to medium heat
Add the softened butter, pinch of salt, pure vanilla essence and the brandy or cognac or Tawny, whichever you are using, and stir through to combine - take chocolate mixture off the heat.
Beat the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale.
Add the egg and sugar mix to the chocolate mixture and stir through to combine.
Add the pouring cream to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
Add the grated orange rind, if you are using it, to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
Beat the egg whites until peaks form.
Add 1/4 of the stiffened egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold through to combine.
Add the remainder of the stiffened egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold through to finish.
Bang the bottom of the bowl with the mixture a few times on the bench top to release air bubbles.
Refrigerate until required.