Choco-Pot-a-Mousse…

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Although a Choco-pot-a-mousse sounds more like a mammal that is made entirely of coca and covered in brightly colored wrapping, it is in fact an insatiable quest to find out the pros and cons of two very similar desserts; Jamie “pukka” Oilver’s Chocolate Pots and Nigella Lawson’s No Worries Chocolate Mousse.

The only fair method of comparison is to make (and eat) both desserts in close time proximity to each other. To do them both on the same day would be slightly excessive (although probably more telling) so I left a day or two between them. When choosing a dessert, I find a few things make up my mind for me; ingredients, time, process, look and finally taste.

These desserts are very similar in look, but it from the recipe descriptions Nigella’s is lighter on ingredients, time and process. The important question, however, is whether it tastes like it is!

Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Pots

Recipe for 6 servings:

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  • ½ pint of heavy cream
  • 7 oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces.
  • 2 large free range eggs, separated.
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • ¾ oz butter, softened.


Directions:

Heat the cream until it is just about to boil, remove, leave for a minute and then add the chocolate. Stir until melted and then add the egg yolks and brandy. Now add the butter and mix thoroughly until smooth. Finally, saving the most enduring task till last, whisk the two eggs whites until stiff and then fold into the mixture. Pour into 6 individual serving pots and chill for 3 – 4 hours (or overnight).

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Note: You can pour this mix into little “pots” now and get 4 intense servings or you can add the egg whites for a lighter version. On this occasion I did the latter…

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Nigella Lawson’s No Worries Chocolate Mousse

Recipe for 6 servings:

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  • 5 oz marshmallows, chopped.
  • 2 oz butter, softened.
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • Hot water
  • ½ pint of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Gently heat the marshmallows, butter and chocolate in a pan with the hot water. The marshmallows take longer to melt so you will have to stir constantly to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat and allow to cool.untitled-31.jpguntitled-33.jpguntitled-32.jpg

Whip the cream and vanilla until thick and fold thoroughly into the cooled chocolate mixture. Pour into 6 individual serving pots and chill for 3 – 4 hours (or overnight).

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Verdict

Ingredients:

So I’m not really one who keeps marshmallows in the cupboard, but I certainly do have brandy and eggs. If I were to buy all of the ingredients from scratch though I would imagine that they would be comparable in cost. You do only have to buy a miniature of brandy instead of a bottle I suppose.

Time:

Not counting the chilling time of both, the Nigella recipe certainly saves you a few minutes, but only a few. And what’s a few minutes in the grand scheme of things huh???

Process:

Both recipes require heating, melting and beating, just for slightly different ingredients and slightly different times. The both create a similar amount of washing up (the pots themselves being the worst offender!)

Look:

Same pots, same color, same spoon… although the Nigella one did give a rippled pattern on top which made me hanker after a nice big latte.


So here’s it is, down to the last and most important factor… taste. If these desserts are too similar in every other way to decipher which one I would make again when the occasion calls, then surely the taste has to be the deciding factor. Otherwise I just wasted my time… an arguable case despite the outcome of the “taste test”, but at least I got to eat a lot of chocolate mousse!

Drum roll please…

Taste:

The Jamie one was served with strawberries, the Nigella one with raspberries. I prefer raspberries with chocolate but I suppose they could go with either. I also suppose I’m getting off the point a little…

For me, the Jamie Oliver recipe was nicer. It was smoother, lighter and tasted more of brandy-decadence than of krafty-marshmallows. Maybe an alternative marshmallow would have made the difference? But when pitched against brandy… I severely doubt it!

On the downside, Jamie Oliver doesn’t have a YouTube video of how to make it…

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