Rich Chocolate Mousse: Get Lucky!

January 31, 2014 | By | More

chocolate mousse

Did you ever wonder why gifts of chocolate are traditional on Valentine’s Day? Chocolate has a reputation for helping people get lucky. Chocolate contains two important chemicals. Tryptophan is associated with sexual arousal and phenylethylamine is the same stimulant that’s released in the brain when you fall in love. Sounds trippy!

While there is actually no significant research proving these aphrodisiac qualities, I can tell you from personal experience that chocolate gives me that lovin’ feeling. Maybe the real turn on is that it happens to be my cute Mr. President who’s giving me the chocolate. Maybe it’s him I can’t resist!

Valentine’s Day is one of the most polarizing of all holidays. Some people, like me, love to hate it with all its high expectations, contrived romance, cupids and hearts, and for some, an in-your-face reminder that life can sometimes be lonely when you’re not paired up. Even now that I’m married, I think it’s a ridiculous day. That doesn’t stop me from using it as an excuse to indulge in a fine home-cooked meal that ends with rich, smooth chocolate mousse. It’s the perfect treat with no shiny red boxes lined with doilies left behind.

chocolate mousse

This is how I set up a double boiler-it works for me!

This decadent, go-to chocolate mousse recipe from Bon Appetit relies on top-quality ingredients. A word about heavy cream: avoid ultra-pasteurized. Not only does this process remove most of what’s good for you in the cream, but it removes a good deal of the flavor. It’s just yucky.

It’s perfectly fine to make this chocolate mousse up to one day ahead. You can add the final dollop of whipped cream just before serving.

On the day you want to make chocolate mousse, brew your morning coffee strong and reserve some for the recipe.

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Ingredients (6 Servings)

3/4 cup heavy cream, divided

4 large egg yolks (preferably from pastured eggs)

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso, room temperature

3 Tbsp. sugar, divided

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

6 oz. high-quality semi-sweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped

2 large egg whites

Before you get started, separate your eggs into two small bowls so they’re ready when you need them.

Step One: 

3/4 cup heavy cream, divided

Beat 1/2 cup of the cream until stiff peaks form, cover and chill in refrigerator.

Step Two:

4 large egg yolks (preferably from pastured eggs)

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso, room temperature

3 Tbsp. sugar, divided

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

6 oz. high-quality semi-sweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped

Combine egg yolks, coffee, 2 Tbsp. of the sugar, and the salt in a large bowl. Set up a double boiler by setting the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, but don’t let the bowl touch the water. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture is lighter in color, foamy and nearly doubled in volume. This takes me about 3 minutes to achieve. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture should register 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and add chocolate, whisking until smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally until mixture is at room temperature.

chocolate mousseWhile you’re waiting for the chocolate to cool, clean out the bowl of your stand mixer so you can use it for the egg whites in step three.

Step Three:

2 large egg whites

Remaining sugar

Using an electric hand-held or stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar, increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form.

Step Four:

chocolate mousse

Folding in egg whites-GENTLY!

Gently fold egg whites into chocolate in two additions. Add reserved whipped cream and fold very gently until just combined. Don’t worry about getting the mixture completely uniform in color – the darker and lighter “ribbons” make it even prettier!

Divide chocolate mousse among six fancy teacups or small ramekins, cover and chill. Before serving, remove the chocolate mousse from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes while you beat the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Dollop whipped cream over and enjoy.

 

 

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Category: Desserts, Food, General, Recipes, Winter

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