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Monday, March 21, 2011

Mousse au chocolat (French chocolate mousse)

If you've ever had it at a restaurant you know this is the ultimate dessert and the ultimate chocolate treat. Airy and delicate, infused with strong flavors of coffee and cream and a little rum, no other chocolate dessert can be a match for the mousse. I'll stop here, you should taste this as soon as possible and nothing I can say can compare to the real deal. 
It's easier to do than it looks. Cross our little mice hearts :)
Adapted from the mistress of French cuisine, Julia Child, via David Lebovitz

Ingredients (serves 6):
  • 170 g chocolate (chopped)
  • 170 butter (chopped into small pieces)
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 60 ml dark coffee
  • 170 g sugar, plus 1 extra tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons rum (30 ml), preferably dark but we used white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 vanilla extract or a vial of vanilla essence

Grate or chop the chocolate if it's not done already:

Prepare the rest of ingredients. Given that it's been St Patrick's day and that this dessert was worth something extra creamy, we used Irish butter :) :

Cut the required butter into pieces:

Also measure the sugar, coffee etc:

Prepare the bain marie by placing a smaller pot over a larger one filled 2/3 with water and placed on heat:

Melt together the butter, chocolate and coffee in it:

Pour the chocolate composition in a separate bowl and let aside:

Prepare a large bowl with ice water (or water kept in the fridge). If you have to, wash the little pot so you can make a bain marie again. This time, put the egg yolks, sugar, rum and water in it:

Whisk them together until the mixture starts to thicken, like runny mayo.

Take the little pot from the hot water and place into the ice water. Keep stirring vigorously until it further thickens:
Now, combine the two mixtures (yolk and chocolate) into a single cream:

Let aside. Beat the egg whites (with a electric mixer, preferably) with the salt until frothy. Add the extra sugar and the vanilla and continue to beat until stiff.

Now it's time for the final combination. 

Incorporate 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate cream.

Then incorporate the rest. Don't over mix, that might affect the volume and fluffiness of the mousse. Pour it into separate serving bowls (we used 3 bowls for double rations, because we didn't have smaller and we always eat together anyway):

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. We left it overnight for the best breakfast ever. Dig in! :)

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