I don’t care who you are, or where you have roamed over God’s green earth, there is still one dish eaten at the end of a meal that even the most sophisticated sweets connoisseur adores. And that my dear friend is chocolate mousse. And if home cooks realized how terribly easy it is to prepare, more people would be enjoying it on a more frequent basis.
And this recipe from the Woodland Bakery blog is easy and the taste and consistency are simply perfection. The mousse isn’t too sweet (only 2 tablespoons of sugar), it’s amazingly light and fluffy, and the chocolate flavor, although intense, is not overpowering. And for people like myself who mainly only like milk chocolate, that’s saying a lot!
I discovered this recipe when I went in search of a mousse that didn’t contain eggs. (My old standby recipe contains whole uncooked eggs.) And although I love that recipe, I wanted to avoid the use of eggs if possible. (And yes, this recipe does include egg whites.) But as I was to learn, most recipes worth their chocolate contain eggs. So I decided to give this recipe a try, egg whites and all. (I quickly realized I could substitute Egg Beaters Just Whites, which are pasteurized by the way, for the kind of egg whites that come in a handy, roughly ellipsoid shaped calcium carbonate container.)
So next time you want to impress the pickles out of your family and friends, and not coincidentally remind them how lucky they are to have you cooking for them, serve this amazing mousse for dessert some evening. It’s just so delicious. And it can be changed up with just the use of a different alcohol as flavoring. Or you can add powdered espresso for a hint of coffee flavor. (Coffee always brings out the best in chocolate.) Or you want a little crunch to offset the soft and silky consistency of this mousse? Add some sliced almonds on top of an amaretto flavored mousse.
I know we all grew up hearing “don’t play with your food”! Well I am here to advocate playing with your food every opportunity you get. And what better fun than dessert! Enjoy!
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 T. sugar
- 5 egg whites or equivalent in Egg Beaters Just Whites*
- 3 c. heavy cream, divided
- 1 lb. good semi sweet chocolate
- ½ c. hot water
- 1 T. Cointreau or liqueur of choice (If you don’t want to use liqueur add another tablespoon of hot water)
- 2 T. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. Cointreau or liqueur of choice, opt.
- grated orange rind, garnish, opt.
In a small bowl rub the cream of tartar into the granulated sugar to combine well. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment whip the egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle in the sugar mixture very slowly. (Do not dump all the sugar at once. You will deflate your egg whites.) Continue whipping until you reach medium-firm peaks, but don’t over-whip to the point of “styrofoam”. Set aside.
In a separate mixer bowl, whip 2 cups of the heavy cream to medium-firm peaks. Again be sure not to over-whip your cream. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a large glass bowl. (I use my microwave.) When the chocolate is melted, add the hot water all at once, whisking vigorously to incorporate the water into the chocolate. (The first time I made this mousse, I was worried that the water would thin out the chocolate too much. To the contrary, the chocolate actually became thicker.) Whisk in the 1 tablespoon of liqueur. Take a small portion of the egg whites and fold them into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the remainder of the whites.
Next do the same thing with a small amount of the whipped cream, lightening and aerating the mixture by folding it through. Gently fold in the remainder of the whipped cream. (Some small streaks of chocolate or whipped cream may remain. That’s just fine.) Transfer mousse to a nice serving bowl** and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks. Add the powdered sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon Cointreau. Spoon mousse into individual dishes and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a tiny bit of grated orange rind as garnish. Yields 2 quarts
*When I make this mousse for family and friends, I use regular egg whites. But if I am fixing mousse for a group of people I don’t know (like some of our JazzVox guests), I use Egg Beaters Just Whites because the whites are pasteurized. (Never know if one of our guests might be pregnant or fearful of raw eggs.)
**or individual bowls