White chocolate isn’t for everyone, but in the right context I can get behind it. Its creaminess lends itself well to this light, airy mousse without being too cloying, while the peach compote scented with fresh bay leaves brings a herbal fragrance and subtle warmth. The result is a dessert that isn’t as sweet as you might expect – just steer clear of the cooking chocolate on the baking aisle and instead opt for a white chocolate with at least 30% cocoa butter.
White chocolate mousse with peach and bay compote
You can make the compote a day or two in advance, and store with the bay leaves for stronger herbal notes.
Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Chill 3 hr+
200g good white chocolate, plus extra, shaved, to serve
350ml double cream
2 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
For the peaches
5 ripe peaches
60g caster sugar
4 fresh bay leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
Start with the compote. Put the peaches in a large, heatproof bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover and leave to sit for a minute. Drain, then run under cold water and peel off the skins, which should now slide off easily.
Halve and stone the skinned peaches, then cut the flesh into rough chunks and put these in a small saucepan with the sugar, bay leaves and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for five to eight minutes, until soft and syrupy. Break down any larger pieces of peach with a fork, then leave to cool completely.
To make the mousse, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, whisk the cream to stiff peaks (be careful not to overwhip), then mix in the egg yolks. In a separate clean bowl, whip the egg whites and a pinch of salt to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, whisking constantly, until the whites turn glossy and form stiff peaks, then set aside.
Fold the egg whites into the cream mix until fully incorporated, then spoon a quarter of the mixture into the melted chocolate and whisk quickly to combine. Gently fold the remaining cream into the chocolate.
Spoon the peach compote into six or eight ramekins or small bowls, top with some mousse and chill for three to four hours, until set. Serve topped with white chocolate shavings.