Lychee is one of my favorite southeast Asian fruits, second only to mangosteen. Its pink-white flesh is glossy, delicate and aromatic…the vibrant taste is absolutely unique. Think of a grape, but juicier, with smooth floral, rosy notes and pear undertones. Even comparing it to a grape is slightly insulting, because its freshness and flavor is on an entirely different level.
Clearly, lychee is my valentine this year. Lychee is also considered a lucky fruit in Chinese culture, symbolizing family abundance and harmony, so this dessert would be a fun fusion dish for Lunar New Year gatherings this weekend. Red and golden hues make a lucky color palette.
Simple complexity is the best way to sum up this dessert! And you can have it ready for your date in less than half an hour. Elegant and nearly effortless! Plus, you get a little arm workout so you can justify skipping the gym tonight. 😉 This recipe’s really easy and takes almost no time, to balance the “intensity” of the last recipe I posted. LOL.
I first learned about the two-ingredient chocolate mousse method years ago when I was scrambling to make a last minute treat for Valentine’s Day. This genius method was developed by a French chemist, by the name of Dr. Herve This, the father of molecular gastronomy. Can you guess the two ingredients needed to make this mousse?
It’s just chocolate and water. Really. I was shocked too, because in other applications, I have learned to keep my water and melted chocolate separate…because chocolate seizing is a thing and it’s THE WORST (I say this from experience). Basically all one needs to do is melt down water and chocolate (whisk while heating), whisk vigorously over ice, and viola. Chocolate magic (also known as science).
Because the ingredients are so simple, the pure flavors are critical. Thus, the quality of the chocolate really matters here. I could go on a soapbox rant about the shittiness of conventional milk chocolate (no dimension of flavor! more filler than actual chocolate!), but I’ll spare you…just trust the chemistry on this one–use a high quality chocolate, at least 70% cacao.
I feel like always have to psyche myself up before I make two ingredient mousse–it just sounds too simple to be true! But it’s worked every time. If it’s your first time trying this, I find this video to be pretty helpful before starting. I’m linking it like three times because A. I love it so much and B. it’s a must-watch. I remember my first time, I overdid the whisking and my chocolate became grainy. If this happens to you, just put the chocolate back on the stove and remelt, then try whisking over ice again. Second time’s usually the charm, so that’s why I put 15-20 minutes for the recipe prep time. In this case, chocolate reflects life, in that planning for experimentation and failure can be very helpful.
For this recipe, I used liquid from a lychee fruit can, and orange-infused chocolate, for my dream flavor combo, but you can totally use normal water and any flavor of semisweet 70% cacao chocolate.
After fifteen minutes, and a little arm workout, you will have some silky chocolate mousse, infused with citrus and the delicate aroma of lychee. Top it off some lychee pieces and sliced strawberries, and you are set! The pairing of the juicy fruit, combined with the rich, smooth chocolate is my OTP. OTP means one true pairing–sorry I’ve been super chatty in this post and my Tumblr shorthand tendencies just come out sometimes. Onwards, to chocolate mousse…!
2 Ingredient Citrus Lychee Chocolate Mousse
Prep time: 15 – 20 minutes
What you’ll need:
- ice (frozen fruit also works if you don’t have ice…I used an ice bath made with frozen strawberries + cold water)
- two bowls (that can stack)
- a wire whisk
- 8 oz orange infused chocolate, chopped (I used the Theo’s brand–it’s fair trade, vegan, and can be found at Kroger/Whole Foods)
- 6 oz (or 3/4 C) liquid from a can of lychee fruit (you can find this at any Asian grocery store)
- strained lychee fruit (from said can), fresh strawberries, fresh mint, for topping (optional but phenomenal)
- Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and stack another medium bowl on top of it, so the ice makes contact with the bottom of the second bowl. Put this set up in the fridge while you complete the next step.
- Pour the lychee liquid in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Add the chopped up chocolate, and whisk while melting until the two become a homogenous mixture.
- Take the ice bath bowls out of the fridge. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the top bowl, and begin whisking vigorously. It takes about 6 to 8 minutes, and you will feel it thicken. This video will give you an idea when to stop.
- Immediately spoon into shallow glass bowls or ramekins, and serve immediately with fresh lychee fruit, sliced strawberries, and mint, if using. This mousse also sets up well in the fridge and is beautiful the next day, too.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy Lunar New Year!