Sunday, 1 February 2009

The Best (and worst) of Cooking

The Internet is a great resource for anyone interested in cooking. There are so many different recipes out there, many of which would be unlikely to appear in any regular cook books.

Some, like Latka, have become a regular part of our cooking, others such as Loco Moco have given me a new favourite "junk food" type snack.

There are some great resources out there. Old Scrote's Real Food Cookbook is one of the best old-fashioned cook books going, with a range of UK and International recipes and cooking tips, with the added benefit of a good dollop of British humour.

So, as you can tell, I enjoy cooking, and I definitely enjoy trying out new recipes. Today's new recipe was one for Chocolate Mousse. This is a really easy one to make from scratch and proved to be a hit with the whole family (again, a big thank you to Old Scrote for that one).

Out of interest I had a bit of a search around to see what alternative recipes for Chocolate Mousse they were, and happened upon this "gem".

The crux of the above recipe is this: make up a packet of instant mousse, pour into glasses and eat.

I hate to point this out but THAT IS NOT COOKING!!!

This is one of my pet hates - convenience food that isn't convenient. Let me give you an example: Yorkshire Pudding mix, just add milk and an egg. In other words what you've got is a small packet of very expensive flour with a touch of salt. It is cheaper and just as fast to make a Yorkshire Pudding from scratch. More convenient? Not really.

As Old Scrote appears to be off-line at the moment I'll finish with his recipe for Chocolate Mousse - enjoy!

Update: Old Scrote himself has been in touch, his site is now available at

Chocolate Mousse

There are not many recipes for desserts in Scrote's repertoire but this one is a cracker, very easy, impressive and despite the tiny portions, devastatingly rich. You need a whisk of some sort and a bowl which you can set over a pan of boiling water (i.e. not plastic) to melt the chocolate. For four servings you need a large ½lb bar of plain chocolate (200g) and four eggs. The eggs must be very fresh.

For each person allow 1 egg & 2 ounces of ordinary plain chocolate. (Do not use cooking chocolate, it is a completely different stuff.) Break the chocolate into small pieces and set to melt in a bain marie- a pyrex glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Meanwhile separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs, into separate containers. When the chocolate has completely melted, remove it from the heat and mix into it just the egg yolks (the whites are used later). The chocolate will become stiffer and take on a 'greasy' appearance- this is correct. Cover & set aside for 15 minutes to cool a little. In the mean time beat egg whites with a balloon whisk until eventually the mixture becomes white & stiff, so that it stands up in soft peaks. After the 15 minutes, fold the beaten egg-white a little at a time into the chocolate mixture, mixing very thoroughly.

Pour the resulting creamy chocolate mousse mixture into serving glasses (short glass tumblers or wine glasses are ideal) & put in the fridge to chill for 2 hours and set. Serve with a generous pouring of single cream. (Ruth puts a dash of Armagnac in and then adds the cream to keep the alcohol in!)

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