As we were talking about Valentine’s desserts, we discovered that chocolate mousse is the hands-down favorite for both of us! Annie’s Scottish friend Judith makes the definitive version, which she learned to make at Cordon Bleu cooking school: Annie says it is simply the best on earth. We also include a quick-and-easy version that is super simple to make.
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy them both!
Judith’s Prize-Winning Cordon Bleu Chocolate Mousse
10 ounces best-quality Belgian dark chocolate (like Calebaut Bittersweet) coarsely chopped
6 fresh large organic eggs
1 cup organic whipping cream, whipped until firm
One well-washed organic tangerine or orange
2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
1. Carefully separate the eggs. Allow the yolks to remain at room temperature, but chill the whites.
2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Add the butter to give the mousse a nice gloss, stirring to combine.
3. Using a fine zester or grater, grate the orange or tangerine rind into the chocolate.
4. Remove chocolate from heat and add yolks. (This part can be tricky: if the chocolate is too hot, the yolks will curdle. If it‘s too cool, the chocolate will solidify.) Stir well to combine.
5. Beat the chilled egg whites with a balloon whisk until stiff and firm, but not dry. Take one spoonful of the beaten whites and stir into the chocolate mixture, just to lighten it because it will be quite thick and stiff.
6. Then add the chocolate mixture to the egg whites, very gently folding the chocolate into the whites. It will lose volume, but if you can do it gently, cutting into the mixture, rather than stirring, the mousse should retain its lightness.
7. Spoon the mousse into whatever serving dishes you will use, and refrigerate to set for an hour or more.
8. As Judith says, “Then comes the good part–the clean up! Don’t let anyone see you help clean the chocolatey bowl with your fingers before you do the washing up, ‘cause everyone will find you with chocolate on your face, and they’ll all want to join in!”
9. When ready to serve, decorate each serving with the whipped cream and some grated chocolate on top.
Serves 6 (it’s very rich!)
Super Simple Chocolate Mousse
3 ounces fabulous dark chocolate (like Chocolove, for instance; should have 60% cocoa content or more), broken into pieces
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, place the cream in a chilled bowl (this will encourage the cream to whip faster) and whip until it forms soft peaks. Add sugar and whip just enough to blend thoroughly.
3. Add half of whipped cream to melted chocolate, stirring to combine, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until mixture is smooth and well blended.
4. Chill mousse for 2 hours, then serve in individual serving dishes.
By Annie B. Bond