Monday, January 30, 2012

Conquering Chocolate Mousse

One of last week's new recipes was a variation on Julia Child’s Perfect Chocolate Mousse. I adapted David Lebovitz's adaptation (I'm just not a fan of rum in anything but tiramisu) and I have to say, I'm a convert. I've always like the idea of chocolate mousse, but I've just never been crazy for it the way I get for ice cream or brownies (or tiramisu). This mousse might just have changed my mind, though.

Orange Chocolate Mousse

Adapted from David Lebovitz's adaptation of Julia Child's chocolate mousse featured in Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf).

  • 6 oz chocolate wafers, about 70% cocoa
  • 6 oz unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/8 c double-strength coffee or espresso
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 c plus 1 t sugar, divided
  • 1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 t water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  1. Assemble the ingredients as follows: Fill the largest bowl 1/3 full with ice water. In a heatproof bowl largest enough to fit securely on top of a saucepan (or in the top of a double boiler) combine chocolate wafers, butter and coffee or espresso. Using a bowl small enough to fit in the ice bath but large enough to nest securely on top of the saucepan, add the egg yolks, 2/3 c sugar, orange juice and water. In a fourth bowl large enough to use a hand mixer combine the egg whites and salt.
  2. Melt the chocolate wafers, butter and coffee (or espresso) together in a double boiler or over a saucepan of lightly simmering water. Once everything has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, set aside, being careful not to get any of the steam in the chocolate mixture.
  3. Place the bowl with the egg yolks over the simmering water, stirring constantly until it thickens a bit (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and place in the prepared ice bath.
  4. Whip the egg whites and salt until it's thick, but not stiff. The whites should hold their shape but still be soft in texture. I strongly recommend using a hand mixer; I tried to do it by hand and it didn't work very well.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, stirring just until they're combined. In 3 equal parts, fold the egg whites gently into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours, then enjoy!

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