The Ever Versatile Chocolate Mousse
If there is any dessert that under appreciated, it’s the beautifully velvet Chocolate Mousse. It has got to be one of the best desserts because it is so versatile as well as being smooth, deeply chocolate-y, and rich.
Before we go any further, let’s just be really clear. Chocolate Mousse, you are perfect just the way you are. You don’t need to be dressed up and adorned, but you do wear red raspberries oh so well!
Dress it up… Dress it down
Chocolate Mousse is a lot like your favorite comfy jeans that are also super sexy. You just can’t help but think of all sorts of excuses to wear it… I mean, use it. Like…
Chocolate mousse éclairs, filling for chocolate layer cake, cookie mousse cups, chocolate mousse cupcakes, chocolate mousse in chocolate cups, chocolate mousse parfaits with raspberry coulis and fresh fruit, chocolate mousse Cherios…
Ok, maybe not that last one. Yeah. But you get the idea. You can do almost anything with Chocolate Mousse. And it’s not hard! The key is to start with the best ingredients. The basic recipe calls for 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. Personally, I like to use 2 or 3 kinds if I have them on hand.
My favorite blend is 4 ounces semi-sweet, 2 ounces bitter sweet, and a big heaping tablespoon of Special Dark cocoa powder.
Mmmm… This is so rich and decadent. I really like it with the Grand Marnier. The orange flavor really makes the chocolate come alive. And it’s so smooth! You know if you are worried about raw eggs, you can always eggs whites in a carton. They work just fine.
Deb and I recently had a cooking class and demonstrated how to make Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse Parfaits. They were a big hit!
Below is a recipe inspired from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking page 604 Mousseline au Chocolat. Apparently it was also known as Mayonnaise au Chocolat. Hmmmm… somehow I don’t think that would go over real well here in the States.; “mayonnaise” brings to mind an entirely different flavor profile. However, if you start with this basic recipe you can jazz it up as you like. Just… don’t call it Chocolate Mayonnaise.
This basic recipe for chocolate mousse is a knock out! Jazz it up with fresh raspberries or caramel or just eat it out of the bowl. In any variation, you can't go wrong. *For best results, allow 2 hours at the end to refrigerate to let it set up. | lakesidetable.com
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup ultra fine sugar
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 4 tablespoons strong coffee
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 egg whites
- 1 pinch salt fine
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- wire whisk
- metal (non reactive) bowl medium
- sauce pot
- measuring cups and spoons
- electric stand or hand mixer
- large bowl
Fill the sauce pot with 2 inches of water and heat on medium low. Let the water come up to steaming while you prepare the yolk mixture.
Beat the yolks and 3/4 cup of fine sugar in the metal bowl. Whisk briskly, or use a electric hand mixer. If you use a whisk, prepare yourself for a workout. Beat until the sugar and yolk mixture forms a thick, pale yellow ribbon when it falls back on itself.
Beat in the Grand Marnier.
Place the yolk mixture bowl over the steaming water to create a double boiler. You do not want the bowl to touch the water. Continue beating for 3-4 more minutes until the mixture is too hot for your finger. It will loosen up and loose it ribbon like quality.
Fill your large bowl with ice and remove the yolk mixture from the steam. Place the smaller bowl in the larger one, and bet the yolk mixture until it's cooled off and starts to form ribbons again.
Melt the chocolate with the coffee. You can do this using the double boiler method like above. Or you can microwave it at 8-10 second intervals, stirring in-between. Or if you have a Super Low Simmer setting on your stove, you can melt it on that setting in a pot.
Once the chocolate is melted, whisk in the butter a little at a time, to make a smooth cream. Beat the chocolate into the yolk mixture. Set aside.
Egg whites: In the stand mixture (or electric hand mixer), beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed. Add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix vigorously. Then gently fold the rest of the whites into the chocolate.
Pour into serving bowls or refrigerate as is for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Thank you Julia Child for inspiring so many of us to fearless venture into the kitchen to learn, play, and eat good food! Cheers!
Uses for chocolate mousse: parfaits, eclairs, cupcake "frosting", layer cake filling, partnered with fresh fruit, whip cream, or creme anglaise. You can even put it in an Oreo pie shell, top it with whipping cream for an amazing chocolate pie.