Decadent Chocolate Mousse

This is the real thing – not chocolate whipped cream, but a true mousse that requires cooking egg yolks and beating them to a pale yellow ribbon and then whipping egg whites to within an inch of their life. 

I include this recipe for my mom. Thanks, Mom!

chocolate mousse

serves 6

6 ounces / 170 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (use quality chocolate, around 70% cacao)
6 ounces / 170 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup / 2 oz. dark-brewed coffee (dark as in, use dark roast beans)
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup / 120 g , plus 1 tbsp / 15 g sugar
2 tbsp / 30 mL dark rum
1 tbsp / 15 mL water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp / 5 mL vanilla extract
Dark chocolate for shaving over top  (optional but a nice touch)

Heat a saucepan filled one-third of the way with water, and set a larger bowl on top (don’t let it touch the water). Add the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat. (Save the pan with the water, you’ll be using it again.)

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

Using another bowl that fits on the saucepan of water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 1/2 sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer if you’re not up to serious whisking. Note: Be sure this mixture is thick before removing bowl from heat.)

Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick. (Hold onto the bowl with the yolks, to ensure it doesn’t slip into the melting ice.) Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.

Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.

Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

Use a microplane grater or peeler to shave chocolate over the top before serving (optional). Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

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