Mousse, the recipe for a perfect Valentine’s

Here’s how to share the love on a special day. If you choose to…

‘Whether or not you received a Valentine’s card’: chocolate mousse.
‘Whether or not you received a Valentine’s card’: chocolate mousse. Photograph: Alamy
‘Whether or not you received a Valentine’s card’: chocolate mousse. Photograph: Alamy
Sun 14 Feb 2021 04.00 EST

It’s Valentine’s Day – the one day of the year on which those who have otherwise paid no attention to their partners are deemed romantic and heroic simply for buying a more-expensive-than-gold-per-ounce rose or a box of rubbishy chocolates.

We don’t need to talk about them.

We do need to talk about the chocolate mousse my mum made on the Sundays we had Sunday lunch together (my parents opened a café when I was eight and we rarely had a weekend together after that).

She used Bournville – which, back then, was an exotic dark chocolate – and she served it in saucer champagne glasses.

Like all of my mum’s recipes, and indeed all the women in my family, no one wrote down a damn thing so I had to make my own recipe up, but this has now become the mousse staple in our house. It’s not as light as my mum’s was – but you can lighten yours by adding an extra egg white.

Whether or not you received a Valentine’s card – and whether or not you care – this is a super-easy recipe to make with any chocolate you have and that way you can make it to taste (ie very high cocoa content or something milkier).

You melt 100g of chocolate, cool a little, mix in two at-room-temperature egg yolks with a little sea salt, separately whisk the two egg whites and then gently fold into the rest of the mixture: place in fridge for a few hours.

Makes four small but powerful portions. Or one large one.