I'm afraid my only excuse for posting so many puddings recently is that we keep having people over and I wouldn't dream of serving dinner for people without giving them pudding! I'm not a great fan of low-fat dessert recipes, if you are only having pudding once or twice a week then you should have something delicious and thoroughly enjoyable: the real thing - not a substitute. But, that doesn't mean it can't be nutritious. This chocolate mousse recipe is an adaptation of Raymond Blanc's 'maman's chocolate mousse'; like the original it only uses egg whites and good chocolate to make a cloud of frothy dessert.
80g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
3 egg whites (or equivalent of pasteurised egg whites - see notes at end)
Break the chocolate into squares and heat in the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Poke around and microwave again for another 30 seconds. Let it rest for a moment and then stir - it should be molten but if not give it another 30 second blast. Put the melted chocolate to one side.
In a large bowl, use a handheld electric whisk to beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Your chocolate should now have cooled a little so stir in one large spoonful of the egg whites to lighten the mix. (If the mixture suddenly seizes up and goes grainy, your chocolate is too warm still. Don't panic! Add a splash of milk and stir gently until it loosens back up and goes smooth again).
Take the lightened chocolate and pour into the bowl with the egg whites. With a large spoon gently fold the two mixtures together until just combined.
Spoon the mousse into 4 little ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Arthritis diet notes:
Young children, older people and those on immune-suppressants for arthritis, such as methotrexate or anti-TNFs (Humira, Enbrel etc), should be cautious with raw egg white because of the risk of salmonella. You can buy pasteurised egg whites in the fridge section of most supermarkets now and these are safe to serve.
The anti-oxidant properties of cocoa are being investigated: I'm sorry to say that I can't really find any evidence that they might help arthritis but who really cares when chocolate tastes so yummy?! If it is any comfort, there is no evidence that cocoa is bad for you either - it's the sugar and fat in chocolate that is naughty.