Chocolate Mousse

  • Serves: Makes 4 1/2 cups; Serves approximately 8 people
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This is a very strong, rich, dark, very chocolaty mousse, on the bittersweet side. It consists only of melted chocolate that is folded into a rich custard sauce, and is lightened by beaten egg whites, yet given body with a little gelatin. I have adapted this from my favorite cookbook author, etc. Julia Child, but I have added several modern techniques.


* I added these techniques to the recipe:
Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the mousse and set aside.
DO NOT let the mixture cool; Immediately whip the egg whites...
Fold the egg whites into the warm (hot) chocolate mixture

The reason is:
To properly prepare a mousse, after creating a "base" of melted chocolate, custard or puréed fruit, add a bit of softened gelatin or gum to the warm base. After the gum or gelatin has dissolved into the base, fold in the whipped egg whites while the base is slightly warm -- this increases the stability of the egg whites. After the mousse has cooled down to a refrigerated temperature, it is time to add the whipped cream, if it's included in the recipe.

The recipe calls for adding the egg whites first because the mixture is still warm; adding the meringue at this point further stabilizes the mousse, because some of the meringue will denature and set. If this procedure is reversed, i.e., adding the whipped cream before the egg whites, it would deflate the cream, and the resulting product will be gritty, grainy and overall, sub-par.  

12 oz / 340 grams best quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 oz / 45 grams Unsweetened chocolate
2 1/2 teaspoons / 12 ml plain unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons / 45 ml dark Jamaica rum, Cognac or bourbon whiskey
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups / 3 1/2 dL Heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons / 25 ml pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons / 45 ml sugar

Break up the two chocolates and set in a small covered saucepan. Bring 2 inches (5 cm) of water to boil in a larger pan; remove from heat. Cover chocolate pan and set in the hot water. Chocolate will melt while you proceed with the rest of the recipe. Renew hot water if necessary; chocolate should be smoothly melted and darkly glistening.

Measure gelatin into a bowl of cup, pour on the rum or other liquid, and let soften.

Separate the eggs, dropping the whites, plus extra whites, into a beating bowl, and the yolks into a stainless-steel saucepan. Set whites aside for later.

Beat the yolks for a minute with a wire whip, or until thick and sticky; then blend in the cream. Stir rather slowly over low heat with a wooden spatula or spoon, reaching all over bottom of pan, as liquid slowly heats. (Watch it carefully, and do not let it come to the simmer.) Bubbles will begin to appear on the surface, and in a few minutes the bubbles will start to subside. Then watch for a whiff of steam rising -- this indicates that the sauce is thickening. Continue for a few seconds until the sauce clings in a light layer to the back of your spatula or spoon. Immediately remove from heat, and stir for a minute or so to stop cooking.

At once stir the softened gelatin mixture into the hot egg yolk mixture, stirring until the gelatin has dissolved completely. Stir in the vanilla, salt then the melted chocolate.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the mousse and set aside. DO NOT let the mixture cool.
Immediately whip the egg whites.

Set the egg white beating bowl over the hot water that melted the chocolate, and stir for a moment to take off the chill (egg whites mount faster and more voluminously when slightly warmed). Beat at slow speed until they are foamy, and then gradually increase speed to fast until egg whites form soft peaks. Sprinkle in the sugar, and beat until egg whites form stiff shining peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the warm chocolate mixture, then return the whole mixture to the egg white bowl, cover and chill. Turn the mousse into an attractive dish or individual pots, and serve with bowls of chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Mousse must be kept refrigerated where it will keep for about 3 days or more. It does not freeze well.

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