For several years now, I’ve had the intention of having more dinner parties.
I imagine there are those of you out there who break bread with friends and family on a regular basis. At least, in the romanticized version of everyone else’s lives that lives in my mind (whereby everyone gets more sleep, more exercise, and is generally more satisfied with their lot in life than I am) everyone else is having fantastic dinner parties.
It’s tough, with a wee human running the house, but that’s no excuse.
I’ve tried to lose the idea that my gatherings had to be centred upon some elaborate food; indeed, I’ve been known to invite people over for a hot mess of freshly baked doughnuts. I’ve entertained the idea of the post-bedtime dessert party, so as not to have the tiny human underfoot, or even a brunch party where we invite all kinds of tiny humans and cross our fingers that no one sticks a head in the oven/finger in a socket/foot through the stair rails.
Maybe it’s not me at all. Maybe it’s my people. I feel like folks don’t realize that I literally can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend my whole day in the kitchen preparing food to share with my buds. And no you don’t need to bring anything. Yes, we’ve got a cellar full of wine, so don’t worry about that either. And you definitely don’t have to pay me. Cripes.
What do you do, dear readers, who are probably planning your next dinner party as I write this? Do you just make a little extra some night and call up your neighbour spontaneously? Do you plan things around others’ schedules weeks in advance? Do you have a standing dinner night with friends or family? I’m dying to know.
P.S.: am I waaaay overthinking this? I’ve been known to do that….
For the record, if you came over I would make a vat of this insanely decadent chocolate mousse. I’d whip some cream with the help of a whisk and some dimpled little toddler hands until it thickens just enough to provide a cool, silky contrast to the pop of tiny air bubbles that you get as you close your mouth around a spoonful of mousse.
Maybe it would tempt you to drop by again next month, too. I’d be happy to feed you.
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 4 egg whites
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups good quality milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons brewed espresso
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until thick and silky, but not stiff. Fold the cocoa into the whipped cream with a spatula.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Place the chocolate, espresso and butter in a small saucepan and heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients combined.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla. Quickly whisk this mixture into the chocolate and stir until smooth.
- Gently fold half of the whipped cream mixture into the chocolate. Do the same with half of the egg whites, alternating until all the ingredients are mixed.
- Place the mousse in a large bowl or spoon into separate serving containers. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight for best results.