For the mousse: (serves 6)
1 pint of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons of butter
2 to 3 tablespoons of milk
Whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until quite firm, about 8 to 10 seconds longer than you usually would. Set aside.
In a double boiler, over medium low heat, melt chocolate chips with butter and milk, stirring the whole time, to form a smooth, silky chocolate mixture.
Remove from heat and have someone slowly pour the chocolate into the whipped cream, as you fold it together using a large flat spatula. Do NOT stir or mix, only fold the cream and chocolate mixture repeatedly over itself, being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of bowl often.
You will have a rich, still somewhat firm looking chocolate mousse mass in the end (as seen in images above).
Cover and chill in serving bowl, or in small individual serving dishes, for 4 to 6 hours.
Serve with blood orange salad (recipe below).
Blood orange salad:
Count one orange per person. Using a small sharp knife, cut away the peel and white pith of the fruit, so that you are left with just the juicy, colorful flesh.
Lay fruit sideways and slice into disks (see images).
Sprinkle a pinch or two of sugar and a sprinkle of cinamon over the orange slices.
Toss lightly, and arrange on a plater in a single layer.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Happy eating and a very happy New Year!