Monday, October 12, 2009

Chocolate Mousse

I like making chocolate mousse because it can be made ahead and kept refrigerated until it's time to use it. Hence, it makes a great dessert for Thanksgiving because I can make it ahead.

Martha Stewart I'm definitely not. I love to cook, but I don't worry overly much about setting a fancy table or spending time on presentation. As long as the table cloth is clean and everyone has a plate, glass, and cutlery, I'm satisfied. It's about family and laughter, not the decorations.

So one of my favourite tricks is to try to make the food taste so good, no one will notice my lack of decor!

Here's one of my favourite recipes for chocolate mousse. I can't remember where it came from, but it is definitely really good.

Chocolate Mousse

6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
6 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) chocolate liquor (or Amaretto of Bailey’s)
1 tablespoon water
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place a bowl on top of a saucepan that is one-third full with hot water. Put the chocolate, butter, and coffee into the bowl. Stir over the simmering water until smooth. Remove from heat.

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

Place another bowl on top of the simmering water. Whisk in the egg yolks, sugar, liquor, and water. Use a hand mixer or whisk this mixture for approximately 3 minutes until it thickens a little.

Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water. Beat again. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff. Then add the vanilla.

Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don't overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.

Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

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