Plush and dark, chocolate mousse is a melding of contrasts, bringing together the decadent lusciousness of whipped cream and the overpowering austerity of bittersweet chocolate. The addition of strong coffee augments the irresistible earthy flavors of this chocolate mousse. If bittersweet dreams could be a good thing this would be it.
Chocolate mousse is an effortless yet dreamy dessert, so dreamy that I would even call it romantic. It is as worthy for serving during the Christmas holidays as it is during Valentine's Day. Even more fabulous is that it can be made up to two days in advance, which is essential during the hectic nature of this season. This recipe is adapted from Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook. The method can be broken down very simply: the chocolate and butter are melted together, and cooled slightly. Egg yolks are combined, then whipped cream and sweetened egg whites are delicately folded into the mixture. The result is simply marvelous.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Adapted from Bouchon via Simply Recipes
- 4 1/2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, diced
- 2 tablespoons espresso or very strong coffee
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- (Optional) Extra whipped cream
- Whip the cream to soft peaks, then refrigerate.
- Combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm. If it is too cool, the mixture will seize when the other ingredients are added.
- Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
- When the chocolate has reached the proper temperature, stir in the yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the whipped cream. Fold in half the whites just until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining whipped cream.
- Spoon or pipe the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. If you wish, layer in fresh raspberries and whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. (The mousse can be refrigerated for up to two days.)