Friday, September 17, 2010

No Apologies Chocolate Mousse

At least once in your lifetime, eat like Julia Child.  Start by enjoying a real dessert.  If you are not allergic to eggs, make that dessert chocolate mousse topped with a dollop of real whipped cream.  Leave behind the store bought cookies, the mixes and the processed bars for one night and indulge in the real deal.  The trade up will leave you satisfied and possibly with fewer calories than a typical night’s indulgence as a result. 

Chocolate mousse is easy to make- very elemental- whipped cream, eggs and chocolate mixed with real butter and sugar.  Not only is it a simple pudding served with fruit and whipped cream, it also makes a wonderful cake frosting and can be frozen for later use (or strictly measured consumption).

I’ve made many versions of chocolate mousse but none is easier and tastier than the one from Julia Child’s book The Way to Cook (Alfred A. Knopf, 1989).  So with no additions or embellishments, here is her recipe:

Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
Serves six

8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup strong coffee
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar (process regular granulated sugar briefly in a food processor to get a finer grain)
1 cup heavy cream

  1. In the microwave or over the stove, melt the chocolate in the hot coffee.  
  2. Remove from heat and beat the softened butter into the chocolate mixture.  
  3. Next mix in the egg yolks, one at a time.  
  4. In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Continue beating while adding the sugar to the egg whites a few tablespoons at a time.  
  5. n a medium bowl, beat cream until it forms soft peaks of whipped cream (not too stiff).  
  6. To combine, pour the chocolate mixture down the side of the bowl of egg whites.  Fold them together using a large flexible spatula to cut down the middle of the egg whites and scoop up chocolate and egg white together.  Egg whites will deflate slightly; be patient, stay calm.  When mixture is almost blended, fold in the whipped cream. 
  7. Transfer mousse into a large serving bowl or individual cups (wine glasses make a nice presentation).  Cover and chill mousse for a few hours before serving. 
 Congratulate yourself on mastering something new.  School's out for the day.