This is a showstopper of a dessert that will win you lots of complements on Christmas Day. It’s quick and easy and can be made up to 2 days in advance so long as it is refrigerated. We made the shortbread biscuits with a tang of lemon rind but you could easily replace this with orange, cinnamon, ginger or just have them plain. To make this an even more decadent desert serve with a little jug of our dangerously versatile salted caramel sauce.

Mousse – what you need

240g dark chocolate chopped (should be at least 55% cocoa – some dark chocolates can be more bitter than others)
240g double cream
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
2-3 tablespoons orange liqueur e.g. Grand Marnier or similar (optional)
4 eggs separated

Shortbread – what you need

150g plain flour
100 g soft butter
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon lemon / orange rind (grated)

How to make the mousse

  1. Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Once boiled take off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted.
  3. Add the grated orange rind & grand mariner (optional) to the chocolate mixture and then whisk in the egg yolks by hand.
  4. In a clean, dry bowl whisk the egg whites until totally stiff (the egg whites should not slide in the bowl)
  5. Stir in about a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Very gently fold the rest of the egg whites in, being careful to keep the mixture light.
  7. Spoon into bowls, cups or shot glasses and place in the fridge.
  8. Leave to set for 2 hours.

How to make the shortbread biscuits

(MAKES APPROX 20)

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 C/ 350F
  2. Place the flour, sugar, zest in a mixing bowl with the soft butter (chop it up for ease).
  3. Mix with your fingertips until it forms a stiff dough.
  4. Do not add any water, it will come together.
  5. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired Christmas shapes.
  6. To ensure sharp edges to the biscuits pop the tray in the freezer for a couple of minutes before going in the oven.
  7. Bake for 8-10 mins or until pale gold in colour.

Rolling Tip: if you struggle to roll dough place a sheet of cling film on the work top, put your dough on top and then cover with another layer of cling film – it helps keep it together.