Would you be touched and thrilled if someone remembered a dessert you made twenty years earlier and would tell you that they had never tasted one as good?
I was when my friend Virginie asked me for my chocolate mousse recipe.
Trouble is, I had not made a chocolate mousse since then (twenty years ago).
It was that pervasive fear about the ugly salmonella; I stopped cooking with anything that required raw eggs. Finally, my daughter enlightened me: ” Mom, raw eggs that come in contact with sugar are OK“.
Great. I can go back to making la mousse au chocolat, a dessert that my aunt Claire used to excel at and make weekly to please René, her French husband.
I summoned my memory and this is the technique she used, succeeding every time.
INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 120 g. of bittersweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips 60% cocoa)(equivalent to one bar of Lindt or one cup of chips or about 4 ounces). Buy the best chocolate you can afford.
- 2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (optional)
- 1 tsp. of coffee, 1 tsp. of vanilla or liqueur of your choice
- 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar (can substitute 1/2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice)
- 3 Tbsp. of powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup of whipping cream (optional, for garnish)
- Separate the eggs; place two yolks with the 2 tbsp. of sugar in a mixing bowl and leave the whites at room temperature in another mixing bowl. (Keep the remaining yolk in the fridge covered for another use, like add to scrambled eggs)
- Melt the chocolate chips or cut-up chocolate bar in the microwave for one minute or on the stove over very low heat. Do not wait for all the chocolate to melt, as soon as most of it is melted, stir it and the rest will follow suit (remove from the heat, as you don’t want the chocolate to overheat, you’ll have to throw it away).
- Add the butter to the chocolate (cut up in little chunks) and stir; add the teaspoon of strong coffee and liqueur or vanilla. Stir and set aside. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and “holds a ribbon” (is pale yellow); at this point, add the chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Beat the three egg whites; as soon as they froth, add the cream of tartar or the lemon juice; keep beating and when they start to look like snow add the sugar gradually. When the egg whites are shiny and firm (they stand on their own), stop beating them. Now take a large spoonful of egg whites (meringue) and whisk gently into the chocolate cream.
- Keep adding more meringue to the chocolate, gently and with an up-and-down motion to keep the meringue from deflating. The meringue should be completely incorporated into the chocolate mixture. Transfer to small ramequins and chill for a couple of hours.
- When ready to serve, beat the whipping cream and add 1 tbsp of powdered sugar; when it is thick, stop. Spoon over the chocolate mousse and serve.
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