It was the Summer of 1994. School had just started after annual examination results and freshly promoted to Class III, my joys of turning into a "big girl" knew no bounds. On the first day of school, our class teacher Mrs. Roy introduced all of us to each other and did the most dreaded thing ever possible. She changed our seats. I was made to sit beside this girl S, whom I hardly knew otherwise. She was this tall, lanky girl who used to eat mounds of rice but never put on a single kilo! She had the most beautiful handwriting I had seen till then, and her mother sent in her lunchbox the BEST Alu Dam I've tasted till date. She used to paint, I used to debate, she was docile, I was outspoken, and before we realised a deep bond of friendship had developed between us. By the grace of our teachers, and of course by dint of having Sanskrit as our third language, we were kept in the same section right upto Class VIII. But somehow post high school, college got the better of us and the interactions became less and less and finally stopped.
After almost half a decade I again saw her this February at our friend A's wedding. She is now married and lives with her husband in New Jersey. She has gained some weight from school (Yes!!! *wicked grin*) but kickboxing helps her stay toned and fit. And for the last few months we have again sprung back to the daily exchange of unholy ideas. And amidst discussing life here and in the States, gossiping about common friends, weighing the pros and cons of getting married and staying single, we talk food. What started as sharing of tiffins now has boiled down to sharing recipes. S had been asking me for a Chocolate Mousse recipe ever since I can remember. I have lots of them in my recipe folder, but have never really got down to making any. Last night at 2 am (or more accurately this morning) when I was itching to make some dessert it struck me that it's her birthday today. I know she's cutting four cakes (her Facebook update told me that of course!), and she doesn't really need this, but this Chocolate Mousse goes for you S, from thousands of miles away. Happy growing older and hopefully, wiser! :)
Serves: 3 Ingredients: Dark chocolate, roughly chopped: 200 gm Eggs, separated: 2 Caster sugar: 2 tbsp Cocoa powder: 1 tsp Heavy cream: 250 ml + for garnish Vanilla essence: 1 tsp (you can use amaretto, frangelico, rum, brandy or any other flavouring agent. I chose to stick to the classic flavour) Grated chocolate/chocolate chips/cherries/strawberries (optional): for garnish Method: 1. Place the chocolate on double boiler (a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water). Stir from time to time until melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 2. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and beat with a hand blender or manually whisk till mixture is pale and creamy. Fold in cooled chocolate and cocoa powder gradually until well-mixed. 3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla until thickened. With a metal spoon or spatula carefully fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. 4. In another container, whisk the egg whites till it increases in volume and soft peaks form. Fold it into the chocolate-cream mixture till just combined. 5. Ladle into serving glasses and chill in fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and grated chocolate/chips/cherries/strawberries. Lose yourself in sinful lusciousness.