The botanical name for the tree whose beans make chocolate is Theobroma cacao.  Known as ‘food of the gods’. Quite right. Chocolate is the way to every woman’s heart. And quite a lot of men’s hearts as well! Which is why Pamela Black, senior lecturer at Ballymaloe Cookery School, has devised this magical chocolate dessert, for couples celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this weekend. Pamela is well known for her inspirational, creative cakes –  and she’s quite a romantic at heart herself, often baking love hearts for Ballymaloe students! We think her Decadent  Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Macaroons is just the pud to induce the luuurve mood this weekend.  Here it is below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Decadent Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Macaroons

Serves 6

110g (4ozs) good quality dark chocolate

110ml (4fl ozs) cream

1-2 tablespoons (1-2 American tablespoons + 1-2 teaspoons) rum, brandy, or grand marnier, or 1 teaspoon grated orange rind (optional)

2 eggs, separated

6 coconut macaroons

Chop the chocolate finely.  Bring the cream up to the boil, turn off the heat, add the chocolate to the cream and stir it around until the chocolate melts in the cream.  Add in the alcohol, if using, and whisk in the egg yolks.  Whisk the egg whites until just stiff, then stir in a quarter of the egg white, fold in the rest, gently, being careful not to knock all the air out.  Pour the mousse into a heart shaped glass or cup and pop into the fridge for an hour or two to set.  Serve with coconut macaroons.

Pam’s Tips! 

·         This is great without the macaroon too, just as a plain chocolate mousse

·         For a really intense chocolate mousse, leave the two beaten egg whites out and serve in tiny espresso cups

·         Little amaretti biscuits are also really good here, instead of the coconut macaroons.


Coconut Macaroons

Makes 16

110g (4ozs) of desiccated coconut

75g (3ozs/scant 1/2 cup) caster sugar

1 egg white, slightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Put dessicated coconut, caster sugar and the egg white into a bowl and stir to combine.  Roll small teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Flatten slightly with a wet fork.  Cook for about 10 – 15 minutes or until pale golden.  Cool on a wire rack.

Copyright Ballymaloe Cookery School 2015