Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Mousse and Valentine's

 I have been submerged in chocolate for the last two and a half weeks, and while it is a delicious and satisfying treat, it is time to step back. But, before I do, I want to leave you with a delicious and amazing chocolate recipe.
I was reading my Bon Appetit magazine when I came across Andrew Knowlton's recipe for chocolate mousse. Well, I guess it's Julia Child's recipe. As a quick side note I would like to say I am very glad he cut his hair and shaved his beard. I admit I was surprised to see a handsome face under all that hair, as it has been my assumption that men hide their faces with hair when they don't like what they look like or have unsightly, small lips. A habit that I am sure women would take advantage of if it wasn't socially unacceptable for us to have facial hair.
Back to the mousse. I work late every Thursday, and would be unable to spend the entire day cooking a fantastic meal for my husband for Valentine's, which I would regularly do. I decided that in spite of the opposition I would still make a special Valentine's dinner for us and I would make as much of it as I could ahead of time.
Enter Chocolate Mousse.
I am a fan of chocolate. I am a fan of custard. I am a fan of the delicious union of custard and beaten egg whites, hence, mousse. So you can see the natural attraction I had to this recipe, with the addition of the fact that the entire thing is made in advance and stored in the fridge. Most of the ingredients I had readily available. Win.
You make the custard, allow it to cool, fold in beaten egg whites and whipped cream. And if I hear you say, "That sounds like a lot of work." I will have to choke you because it is less work than baking a cake and frosting it and nobody every complains about that.
It is amazingly delicious and rich without being overly sweet. The recipe calls for coffee, and since I love the flavor I added a bit of espresso powder for some added bitterness and coffee flavor. I'm definitely tucking this one away for dinner parties. It is the perfect dessert because it is impressive, stunning, absolutely delicious and just needs to be topped with whipped cream when you are ready to eat it.

Chocolate Mousse
(from Bon Appetit with minor alterations)

Makes 6 servings
Plan for 2 hrs chill time

3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup strong coffee, room temp
dash of salt
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 large egg whites

Beat 1/2 cup cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.
Combine egg yolks, coffee, espresso powder, salt and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar in a large metal bowl. Set over a saucepan with 1 inch of gently simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly for about one minute, until the mixture has doubled in volume and looks lighter.
Remove the bowl from the pan and add the chocolate, whisking until melted. Let stand until room temperature, whisking occasionally.
In another bowl whisk egg whites with the whisk attachment of a hand mixer until foamy. Add the 1 Tbsp. remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula, fold egg whites into chocolate in two additions. Fold whipped cream in.
Divide mousse among six ramekins, cups, or parfait glasses. Chill until firm, two hours minimum.
Before serving whip remaining 1/4 cup cream and spoon onto mousse. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.

1 comment:

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