If, after making hollandaise or mayonnaise or custard, you’re looking for a use for leftover egg whites, look no further than this rich, aromatic mousse. The recipe is from Nigel Slater’s Real Food (the same source as lemon chicken), which has a whole chapter devoted to chocolate. Slater insists that only the best quality white chocolate will do, and advises serving the mousse in extremely small quantities: the amounts below will fill 6 ramekins or 8 espresso cups.
8 plump green cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
250 white chocolate
300ml double cream
3 free range egg whites
Good quality cocoa powder for dusting
Bash the cardamom a little to break open and extract the seeds, then add them (husks and all) to the milk and bay leaves in a small saucepan. Warm the milk over a moderate heat until it approaches the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl over (but not touching) simmering water. Overheating the chocolate will cause it to go lumpy, so as soon as it starts to melt, turn off the heat but leave the bowl in place.
In separate bowls, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and whip the cream so that it forms soft mounds rather than peaks.
When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat and pour the warm milk onto it through a sieve. Stir the chocolate and milk together until velvety.
Stir in a spoonful of the beaten egg whites to lighten the mixture, than fold in the rest of the egg whites gently with a large metal spoon. Now fold in the softly whipped cream.
Scrape into a serving bowl or individual ramekins / espresso cups and refrigerate for three or four hours until set. Dust with cocoa before serving.