SIMPLE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE -- Light for Spring
Spring is in full swing in California. Warm and fresh, with bright green everywhere. Unlike during the last few years of our record-breaking drought, we had decent rainfall over the past few months, which has made a big difference this spring. It seems trees and plants are growing faster and taller than ever.
The old plum tree in my backyard will have a lot of fruit this year… probably the first time in 5 years. Spring may be at its peak now, but needless to say it is fantastic to be having a real “spring” again!
This chocolate mousse is simple but very light – perfect for the season. You will never get tired of it or of a lush, verdant spring.
SIMPLE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE — Light for Spring
This recipe is from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, a very famous French pastry chef, with a great dessert writer, Dorie Greenspan. It is very important when making this mousse to use good quality chocolate and very fresh eggs.
Recipe and anecdote adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, written by Dorie Greenspan.
Mousse as it’s meant to be: Whisper-light in texture, exclamatory in taste. The main ingredient is bittersweet chocolate, lightened by whipped egg whites, enriched by an egg yolk, and sweetened by just the tiniest bit of sugar. Milk is the unexpected but just-right ingredient in this recipe. Because it is lighter than cream, it brings smoothness to the mousse without adding richness or masking the flavor of the chocolate.
“I think of this mousse as a base recipe, one I can play around with and change at whim. Often I’ll add another flavor just before serving, topping the mousse with chocolate shavings, caramelized Rice Krispies, thin slices of banana–raw or sautéed, whole raspberries or raspberry coulis, toasted nuts, or chopped fresh mint. Sometimes I’ll add a different flavor to the mousse while I’m making it, infusing the milk with grated orange zest, a spoonful of instant coffee, a little ground cinnamon, or a pinch of cardamom.” PH
6 oz. (170 g) bittersweet chocolate (52% or more cacao), finely chopped
1/3 cup (30 g) whole milk
1 large very fresh egg yolk
4 large very fresh egg whites
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Place the chocolate in a medium-size mixing bowl. Bring the milk to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Using a small whisk, gently blend the hot milk into the chocolate. Add the egg yolk and whisk it into the chocolate, again working gently; stop when the yolk is incorporated.
2. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed just until they hold soft peaks. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat the whites until they are firm but still glossy. Scoop one-third of the whites out onto the chocolate mixture. Working with a whisk, beat the whites into the chocolate to lighten the mixture. Now, with either the whisk or a large flexible rubber spatula, delicately but thoroughly fold the rest of the beaten whites into the chocolate.
3. Turn the mousse into a large serving bowl – clear glass is very nice for this dessert,
or into individual glass cups, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, preferably 3-4 hours to set. The mousse can be kept (refrigerated) for a couple days.