Chocolate mousse

There’s a lot to celebrate today! It’s my little brother’s birthday and his lovely girlfriend starts her new job today.

On top of all that, our friend here in Luxembourg is having three wisdom teeth removed this week so I thought it might be nice for her to have a treat to look forward to during her recovery.

All of these things are perfect excuses for making chocolate mousse. Not that you ever need an excuse to eat chocolate, as you well know. Regular and random chocolate consumption is part of why being an adult is fun, and it also very good for your sanity.

My brother’s girlfriend is a sweet and thoughtful person and she gave me a lovely and personal gift for my bridal shower. Part of the gift was Paul Bocuse’s book Simply Delicious. Bocuse holds an astonishing 3 Michelin stars (!!!!!!!) and was named Chef of the Century by the Culinary Institute of America in 2001. The book is a collection of 100 of his favourite recipes. They are straightforward and simple to prepare at home.

As is common with Classical French cooking, the simplicity of the recipe demands the best ingredients possible. Therefore, this is one of those times where you want to splurge and buy the best chocolate your wallet can afford. You don’t need much, only about 125g / 4oz.

But first thing’s first. Go take your eggs and butter out of the fridge as they need to come out at least an hour before you begin. It is a lot easier to separate room temperature eggs, trust me. Now you can drink some coffee, read the rest of this post, surf around the internet, and then you’ll be good to go!

Just four ingredients! This does not bode well for me as I foresee a lot of chocolate mousse in my future. Sorry, pants…guess you won’t be fitting anymore.

Use a double boiler or a metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water.  You really only need about 2 inches of water on a very gentle simmer.
  Stir your butter, chocolate, and sugar together to melt.
Continue stirring the chocolate, butter, and sugar mixture until the sugar has mostly dissolved. This took me an additional 5 minutes. Set aside to cool from hot to lukewarm.

Separate your egg yolks and whites. Add the whites to a large mixing bowl.

  Here, you will see the whites are foamy. This happens after just about a minute on high speed.

“Soft peaks” are shown here, this is when the whites are stiff enough to form peaks, but the peaks will not hold their shape entirely. Kind of like bubble bath.

These are stiff peaks and this is what you want. The whites will form peak shapes when you lift out your beaters and the shape will hold.

Close up!

Once your chocolate mixture has cooled, mix in your egg yolks.

Slide your egg whites into the chocolate bowl. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold the egg whites into the chocolate. Unlike stirring, folding is very gentle. I usually gently draw a figure 8 in the bowl.

You want to fold gently so as not to loose all the volume. It will take a few minutes but be patient and resist the urge to stir!

Finally, combined.

The mousse must now set in the fridge, covered, for at least 2 hours, preferably 24.

Here is the mini sample I made for JD, refrigerated for 4 hours.

Here’s the dish I got back. He wants you to know it’s “delicious and rich”.

Chocolate Mousse

Adapted from: Paul Bocuse, Simply Delicious

4 1/2oz (125g) Bittersweet chocolate
4 TBSP (50g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (30g) Unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated

1. At least one hour ahead of time, take the butter and the eggs out of the refrigerator

2. Break the chocolate into pieces.

3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or metal bowl above a saucepan of gently simmering water, as seen above), stirring gently as they begin to melt. Add the sugar a tablespoonful at a time until it has mostly dissolved. Pour into a mixing bowl and when the mixture is lukewarm, stir in the egg yolks.

4. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slide the egg whites into the bowl with the chocolate mixture and fold them in using a spatula or wooden spoon.

5. When the egg whites have been completely incorporated into the chocolate, place the mousse in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more before serving.


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