October 12, 2011
Chocolate mousse—making a comeback?
Chocolate mouse is such a classic dessert, but I rarely see it on menus. Is it too 1980s? Yes, probably. But the food world cycles through trends, just like fashion. So, since I’m seeing tapered high-waisted pants on the runway, I’m taking it upon myself to bring chocolate mousse back to the cool kids table.
My favorite version of this timeless dessert is from John Barricelli’s The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook. It’s a simple recipe, so be sure to use the best quality ingredients you can find, and maybe slip on some legwarmers with your apron.
When I made this for an outdoor picnic I piped small portions of mousse into small cups and adorned them with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, a swirl of whipped cream and a single raspberry. The picnic was a “green” event so I made little sugar cookie spoons to use in place of utensils. Stay tuned for the cookie spoon recipe and directions—the cute factor is worth the work.
Classic Chocolate Mousse
5 Ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 Large eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
1 Cup heavy cream
Your choice of toppings (I used chocolate chips, whipped cream and raspberries)
Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in the bottom pan of a double boiler. While the water is coming to a boil, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and salt in the top pan of the double boiler. Set the pan with the egg yolk mixture over (not in) the simmering water and whisk until warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Next, place the chocolate over the simmering water and heat until melted. Beat the egg yolk mixture until it is slightly thickened and paler yellow, and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted from the bowl, about 3 minutes.
Remove the mixer bowl from the stand. Add the warm melted chocolate and whisk by hand until smooth. With a rubber spatula, scrape the chocolate mixture back into the bowl in which you melted the chocolate and set aside.
Wash and dry the mixer bowl. Pour the cream into the mixer bowl and beat with the whisk attachment until medium peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture until there are no visible streaks of white. Then spoon or pipe (I loaded the mixture into a large plastic ziplock bag and cut the tip off one corner to pipe into my mini cups) into one large or four individual serving bowls, add your choice of toppings, and chill in the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours.