Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Heavenly Chocolate Mousse
8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream, whipped
1. In a microwave or double boiler, heat chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter until the chocolate and butter are melted. Cool for 10 minutes. In a small heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar and remaining water. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate mixture. Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
First: to properly whip heavy whipping cream, start with a chilled mixing bowl and whip it until it is a very fluffy, almost buttery consistency. Do not stop mixing too soon. Second, the proper way to melt chocolate is *slowly*! If you don't have a double boiler, I recommend using a saucepan on the stove over low heat. This will take a while, but the microwave can actually be a harder way to melt chocolate because you have to be careful not to do it too quickly and you have to take it out many times to stir. I also want to emphasize the importance of getting the temperatures right...try to follow these to the letter. I highly recommend having a candy thermometer to get the eggs, sugar, and water to exactly 160 degrees. Finally, I just thought I'd mention that we added some chunks of high quality milk chocolate and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a nice presentation and a good compliment to the dish.
*Jeff made a request for chocolate mousse--and since he doesn't request very often, I had to give it a try. This was good, but I think with practice I could have done better. First, I wish I would have spent a little more on the chocolate, but even with the store brand it was tasty. Second, I didn't have a candy thermometer and I don't think I heated the egg mixture quite long enough. Someday I'll give this another try, but it was good!