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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chocolate Mousse, Need I Say More?

I first fell in love with this velvety concoction when I was 12 or 13 and my family was on a trip to New York, NY (the town so nice, they named it twice) for a few days. We had gone to eat at Sardi's before going to see a Broadway show (42nd Street, if memory serves). I had my first taste of vichyssoise, the entree I cannot remember, and followed it up with chocolate mousse. Oh my. Airy, luscious, deep deep chocolate with a hint of something I could not identify at that time (I figured out later in my life that the hint was the liqueur). I have been obsessed with it since. What better excuse to make chocolate mousse than my Mom's visit?

The recipe I use is from Julia Child's The French Chef Cookbook. And, yes, it has raw eggs in it, and, no, I'm not worried about becoming sick from said eggs. The occurrence of salmonella in eggs is miniscule.
I could make the mousse with whipped cream, but the consistency and flavor are just not the's not as light and airy and wonderful. So, if you are worried about raw eggs, do not make this.

On with the recipe!

Mousseline Au Chocolat:

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate ( I used Scharffenberger 80% cocoa, any high quality chocolate will do)
4 Tbsp strong coffee
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar (superfine sugar would be even better if you can get it)
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier) or rum or Chambord, or other
6 ounces room temp unsalted butter
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp superfine or granulated sugar
- Melt the chocolate with the coffee over a hot water bath, stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the butter a bit at a time. Once butter is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, set aside.
-Put the yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer, beat a bit to break them up and add 3/4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup liqueur and beat until the mixture turns lemon yellow. Remove the bowl from the mixer, leave the whip attachment on the mixer, place the mixer bowl over the hot water bath and whisk until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar is dissolved.
Wipe the bottom of the bowl, return it to the mixer and whip the yolk mixture until it is light yellow and it thickens. Add the chocolate mixture to the yolk mixture and beat until well blended. Pour this mixture into a separate bowl and set aside. Wash your mixer bowl and whip attachment thoroughly.

-Once the bowl is clean, place the egg whites and a pinch of salt into the bowl and with the whip attachment, whip until the eggwhites are foamy. Slowly sprinkle in the 2 Tbsps of sugar while the mixer is still on high speed. Whip the egg whites until they form firm, but not dry, peaks.

-Sacrifice 1/3 of the eggwhites into the chocolate mixture (this means to just mix it in to lighten the chocolate mixture). Lightly fold in the remaining egg whites and fold until blended.
-Evenly distribute the mousse into dessert glasses, or leave in a large bowl, or pour into a prepared mold. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours if you can't wait) and then enjoy and savour and love the mousse. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Excuse me while I have a moment...

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