Mousse a l’Orange et au Chocolat

Mousse a VOrange et au Chocolat (Moss ah loh-ranj ay oh shoh-koh-lah) is a well-known dessert, with many variations. This version is made with the zest of oranges, orange-flavoured liqueur, chocolate, cream and eggs. As the mousse is so rich, it should be served after a light meal.

2 firm, bright-skinned oranges

4 large sugar cubes

10 fl. oz. single cream

1 small vanilla pod

4 eggs, separated

6 oz. dark cooking chocolate, melted

2 tablespoons orange-flavoured liqueur

Rub each orange all over with the sugar cubes to extract all the zest from the rind. Place the sugar in a small mixing bowl and crush the cubes with a wooden spoon. Set aside. Reserve the oranges for future use.

In a small saucepan, scald the cream (bring to just under boiling point) with the vanilla pod over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the vanilla pod.

Gradually add the hot cream to the sugar cubes, stirring constantly, and continue stirring until the sugar has com- pletely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they are pale and frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar and cream mixture and combine thoroughly.

Place the bowl in a large saucepan half-filled with hot water. Set the pan over low heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until it is thick enough to coat the spoon. Do not let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble.

Remove the pan from the heat. Grad-ually beat in the melted chocolate. Stir in the orange-flavoured liqueur. Lift the bowl out of the pan and set it aside to cool completely.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks. With a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the orange and chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mousse into a chilled glass serving dish and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.