When dining at Craigie on Main, you learn to expect the unexpected, even in the most traditional of dishes. The restaurant is the home of inventive nose-to-tail cuisine, the justly lauded Craigie burger and some fine, fine cocktails. But it also has truly heavenly, if slightly subversive, desserts. Where else would you get such an exquisite parsnip ice cream, as I did on my last visit? (And who knew this humble root could be so good, so creamy?) Another equally tasty and enigmatic deserts is one of the most popular — Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse.
Chef Tony Maws says he first created the mousse as a dairy-free option for Passover, but it tasted so good and was so popular that it soon become a menu staple. The oil, in combination with the chocolate and the brandy, imparts really interesting pepper notes to the mousse. To that point, Maws cautions that you shouldn’t lose your nerve with the olive oil. The mousse tastes much better with a strong, spicy Tuscan oil than with something sweeter or more neutral.
Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse by Tony Maws
11 oz. chocolate (Maws uses chocolate by local chocolate makers, Taza)
9 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp brandy (Maws uses Armagnac)
9 egg whites
¼ cup sugar
Finely chop the chocolate, and then melt over simmering water in a double boiler.
While the chocolate is melting, whisk together the yolks and ½ cup sugar until the mixture is thick in texture and a pale, lemony yellow.
Gently fold the warm (not hot) chocolate into the yolks.
Stir in the brandy, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
In another bowl, whisk the whites until they are frothy and then whisk in the sugar. Keep whisking until they are at medium peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate, ½ at a time.
Pour into glasses and allow mousse to set for at least four hours before serving.