Mousse au Chocolat

There are “a million” ways to make chocolate mousse. Depending on how I’m serving it, I’ll choose one method or another.  When I’m looking for a fast delicious dessert, however, this is the recipe I go to.  I can hardly call it a recipe – it’s so easy!  I just have to remember 1 ounce (30g) of chocolate + 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of sugar per person…plus 1 extra white “for the pot”!  I’m ready to make chocolate mousse where ever we go!

What makes a good chocolate mousse?  For me, it first has a deeply chocolate taste but it can’t be too rich.  It is worth buying high quality chocolate since it’s a key ingredient.  I use chocolate with cocoa content between 64-72%, sometimes blending them together. Second, the texture has to be right.  I prefer it in between “dense” and “creamy” but light at the same time (if that makes sense!). 

One final thought: Think of chocolate mousse like that little black dress – you can dress it up or down, and it’s always appropriate!  When serving family style, I’m happy to simply pour all the mousse in a large bowl and top it with whipped cream and roasted hazelnuts.  To make a more elaborate dessert, I’ll serve it in individual glasses (“verrines”) and add layers of cake or other crunchy elements.  I also love its versatility when plated.  I almost always add acidity in the form of fruit for great flavor and color – it never fails.

NOTE:  Since eggs are one of two key ingredients, freshness is important.  At Château Ladausse we are lucky to get farm-fresh eggs on a daily basis and I have no concern about using raw eggs in this recipe.  Please use your own judgement to decide if raw eggs are OK or not. 

Ingredients – for 6 people  

180g chocolate (6 ounces), 72% cacao content

110g egg yolks (from 6 large eggs)

300-320g egg whites (from 7 eggs) 

80g sugar (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)* 

Pinch of regular salt for egg whites

Optional:  Pinch or two of fleur de sel or shot of Alcohol (Grand Marnier)

*Note:  I’ve used up to 100g of sugar, so adjust quantity if you like it a tad sweeter, but if you add Cointreau or Grand Marnier, this will add sweetness..

Optional Garnish:  Whipped cream, roasted nuts, fresh raspberries

Steps

  1. Separate the yolks & whites
  • The whites can go directly in a stand mixer or other large bowl.  
  • The yolks can go into a small bowl.
    • Separate one more egg, adding the whites to the stand mixer bowl.  Keep the extra yolk for another purpose (mayonnaise, for example). 
    • Weigh sugar and set next to stand mixer bowl as you’ll eventually add it there.
  1. Melt Chocolate 
    • Put a little water in the bottom of a medium size pot that will hold a large metal bowl.  The water level is about 1 inch.   The inside bowl should not touch the water.  If it does, change to a smaller pot.  Bring water to simmer over low heat.
    • Weigh chocolate into a large metal bowl;  place this on top of  the simmering pot.  Do not burn it, or heat too high (ie, above 60°C).
    • Once chocolate is melted (about 5 min.), remove bowl from the steaming pot.  It is ready to use between 40-45°C.  
    • Chocolate can also be melted in microwave (but I don’t have one!).
  1. Whisk egg whites while chocolate is melting:
    (obviously you can only do this simultaneously if you have a stand mixer!)
    • Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites.
    • Start whisking on low, for about 2 to 3 minutes.  
    • After the whites are all frothy, increase speed to medium-high.  
    • Add sugar.  Whisk until firm and tight, another few minutes.  If you hold the bowl upside down, the whites don’t fall out!
  1. Add yolks to chocolate
    • Add yolks to warm chocolate.  Mix well.  It will thicken.  
    • Optionally add a shot of Grand Marnier or other alcohol of choice, or espresso.
  1. Fold whisked whites into chocolate base:
    • Take about ¼ of the whites and add to the chocolate/yolk mixture (which should be room temperature and NEVER be warm or hot!).    Stir and mix quickly to loosen up the batter and to combine.  A whisk works well.  You may need to initially whisk hard to end up with a smooth texture at this stage.
    • Fold in another ¼ of the whites.  If still too thick, use whisk to blend in the additional whites.  Otherwise, if the batter is loose enough, fold in.  
    • Fold in the remaining whites, being gentle since you want to keep the texture light.
    • Add a pinch or two of fleur de sel if you have not added alcohol, and blend.  It adds great flavor.
  1. Pour into a serving bowl or other recipient(s).  Let set in the refrigerator at least 2-4 hours.  Serve with garnish of choice, if you like.



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