Mousse is French for foam or froth. Chocolate mousse is an elegant French dessert which is wonderfully-textured, sinfully rich, and yet painlessly easy to make. The chocolate foam is created by mixing beaten egg whites with melted chocolate. It is easily prepared ahead of time, and is certain to impress even the most discriminating dinner guest.
The basic recipe contains only four ingredients:
1 egg per serving – separated
1 oz dark baking chocolate per serving
1 tablespoon milk per serving
1 teaspoon sugar per serving (or to taste)
The tools needed are:
An egg separator
A hand held electric mixer
A rubber spatula
A large mixing bowl
A double boiler or a microwave-safe bowl
1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites with an egg separator.
It is also easy to separate the yolks without an egg separator if one is not available. The procedure is as follows:
a. Gently crack the eggshell into two halves over a mixing bowl.
b. Tip the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the eggshell, allowing the whites to run over the edge of the shell and down into the bowl.
c. Continue until all the white has been separated, and then put the yolk into a separate bowl.
d. Note that If any yolk gets into the whites they will not whip, so be very careful not to break the outer membrane holding the yolk together.
2. Prepare the mousse. Whip the egg white with an electric mixer until stiff, and then gently mix in the sugar with a spatula.
3. Beat the egg yolk with a fork.
4. Melt the chocolate into the milk. There are two ways to do this. Either:
a. Place the chocolate and milk in a bowl over boiling water in a double boiler, or
b. Cover the bowl of chocolate and milk with cling film and microwave on high for one minute.
5. Add the melted chocolate to the beaten egg yolk by pouring it in slowly as you beat the mixture with a fork.
6. Gently fold the beaten egg white into the egg/chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.
7. Pour the mixture into individual dessert dishes, cover, and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
There are a number of different variations on the basic recipe.
Substituting milk or white chocolate for dark chocolate will give a milder, less bitter chocolate flavor. Cooking chocolate can be replaced with high quality chocolate bars.
The mousse can be flavored by adding a few drops of mint, vanilla or orange extract to the egg yolk along with the chocolate. 1 tablespoon of cointreau, amaretto or coffee liqueur could be added for an extra kick.
Chocolate mousse tastes quite divine by itself, but its appearance and flavor can be enhanced by garnishing it with any of the following: sliced strawberries, whole raspberries, whole blueberries, peach slices, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, unsweetened whipped cream, or chocolate shavings.
However it is presented, chocolate mousse will provide a perfect finish to a great meal.