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One of the things I remember most clearly from my childhood are the glamorous Saturday night dinner parties my parents used to host.
Held in the pre-gastropub days where the only dining out option in our local town was a Chinese (it was WELL exotic), they’d be raucous affairs stretching long into the evening, attended by friends of Mum and dad who lived in the village.
I’d spend the afternoons helping Mum set up; folding napkins, polishing cutlery and setting out shiny glasses ready for the guests to arrive. Mum would cook lasagne (again, well exotic in the 90s) with a salad. Pudding was always dad’s domain which meant it was either caramelised oranges or a chocolate mousse.
While we waited for 7pm to come around I’d lol on Mum’s bed (the word lol has a totally different meaning these days, doesn’t i!?), watching Noel’s house party as she put on her makeup and spritzed Clinique Happy everywhere. As they arrived my brother and I would run guests’ coats to the study and eagerly fill water glasses, ferrying crudité out of the kitchen until it was our bedtime.
And the best bit of all? The leftovers. Wading through the dinner party detritus of coffee cups and lipstick-smudged wine glasses as I chomped on second-baked lasagne the next day I’d think how exciting it must be to go to dinner parties as a grown-up. We’d snack on the rest of the delicious food for lunch, finishing off with the chocolate mousse… so sophisticated, so delicious.
There are some things that have gladly been left in the 90s with my parent’s village dinner parties – shoulder pads, Dire Straits, Wolf from Gladiators – but I miss those chocolate mousses. Now I’m the cook in the house I feel like I’ve been missing a trick by not making them myself: made in advance, looking impressive and keeping until you’re ready, they’re the perfect dinner party or Christmas dessert.
So when Splenda challenged me to create a favourite recipe for the festive season using their low-calorie sugar alternative, I thought my parent’s mousse would be perfect.
Splenda is a sweetener that’s made with sucralose, so unlike other low-calorie sweeteners it’s heat stable up to 232°C. This means it can easily be used as a replacement for table sugar in most cakes and bakes, and with it’s super-fine texture it can also be added to recipes such as this one.
I made up a big batch of Chocolate Mousse in minutes (it’s so EASY) for a little dinner party I was having at home and served it up to a delighted audience (including my parents!). Plus as a bonus they had no idea I’d replaced the more calorie-heavy sugar with Splenda… it was delicious.
Easy Chocolate Mousse with Splenda
- 3 eggs separated
- 200 grams dark chocolate (ideally 70% solids)
- 4 tsp Splenda
- hot water
Start by melting your chocolate. Break it into rough pieces and heat in a bowl over a bowl of simmering water. Put to one side to cool for a couple of minutes.
Whisk your egg whites in a stand mixer until they form stiff peaks. Add your teaspoons of Splenda and whisk again for another minute or so until the egg whites are lovely and glossy.
Mix your egg yolks into your melted chocolate with a wooden spoon.
Going carefully, slowly fold your egg whites into the chocolate and egg mixture with a metal spoon. Gently cut through and stir the mixture, retaining as much of the air in the mix as possible.
Spoon the mix into serving dishes: either one big one or individual ramekins/martini glasses like these.
This recipe was commissioned and created specially for Splenda.