chocolate interludes: chocolate mousse!

This past weekend we had our very first dinner guests in the new studio. I wanted to make a rich and delicious dessert, preferably one that would NOT involve turning on the oven. It’s been hot. I decided a chocolate mousse would fit the bill nicely and went digging in the file of childhood recipes that my parents have been kind enough to pass on.

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Chocolate mousse was one of my dad’s signature desserts back in the day. After finding the recipe, I think I know why: only four (or maybe five) ingredients. However, the recipe also revealed why this dish had eventually dropped out of rotation. Raw eggs form a not insignificant portion of the dish, and salmonella is not really the kind of leftover you want to send your guests home with. Fortunately, it is possible to pasteurize eggs at home, on your stovetop, which is what I did, using these instructions. The mousse turned out great, and nobody got sick (although I should note that the odds of a raw egg harboring salmonella are quite low to start with).

And now, without further ado, the recipe:

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Ingredients
4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
1 tbsp strong dark coffee
dash of vanilla extract
4 oz dark chocolate (I got this awesome bar at our local European style market, the Milk Pail).
whipped cream, for serving

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First, break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power in 2 minute intervals, until chocolate is melted.

While chocolate is melting, gently beat together the egg yolks, coffee, and vanilla extract. When chocolate has melted, mix into the egg yolk mixture. The chocolate will “seize” up and become a bit stiff. Don’t worry, but do keep stirring until everything is thoroughly mixed. The chocolate won’t ever look as smooth as it does when it first melts, but the consistency should be relatively uniform.

Beat the egg whites until peaks formed. If you are using pasteurized eggs, you may find that the whites don’t whip as easily as non-pasteurized eggs, but keep at it:

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Finally, fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Spoon mixture into 4 bowls/cups/wineglasses. Place in the fridge and allow to chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

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