This is my mom’s chocolate mousse. Whenever I go home, she’ll make a double batch with the hopes that there will be some leftover. Of course, there never is. Then, the next morning, my mom will take me aside and show me where she hid the extra portion just for me I don’t know if its the special treatment I get, but whenever I have a go at making mom’s mousse, it’s never as good. She’s taught me many times and I am never far away from the kitchen when I hear she is whipping up a batch, but I have yet to develop her knack. I hope its hereditary.
Part of the difficulty comes from the fact that there are so few ingredients. This is an egg white only mousse as distinct from a cream mousse in that it’s much better. It’s lighter in texture, less fatty, non greasy, and unforgivingly chocolaty. To me, this means I can eat more of it without feeling blah. For the same reason, this has always been a dinner party staple. After eating a large meal, many don’t feel up to a heaver dessert like a cake so serving a mousse is perfect. The fact that you can make it the day before and just store it in the fridge (or covered in the garage if you’re running out of fridge space and it’s winter in Canada) until just before serving. Serve it in pretty wine glasses, plop a few raspberries or a sprig of mint on the top and it looks great too.
Nothing in this recipe is particularly difficult. Basically, you melt some chocolate, whip some eggs whites and then mix them together. According to my mom, the trick is in how you incorporate the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. You want the chocolate to be body temperature. If it’s too cool, the chocolate won’t be melted enough to smoothly distribute among the whites. You also have to take your time: don’t rush folding the whipped whites into the chocolate. Slowly fold everything together after each addition until you can’t see any specs of white. Balancing the two is where I think I go slightly wrong. I don’t want to go too slowly with my folding and risk the chocolate getting cold.
Despite my ramblings, this is not a difficult recipe. I’m just always comparing with the best.
- 6 oz (170g) semi sweet chocolate
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp hot coffee
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (only use if you have fresh)
- Start heating pot with an inch or two of water in it. It will be used later as a double boiler.
- Put a pot of strong coffee onto brew.
- Cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large heat proof bowl. The bowl needs to be big enough to hold all the whisked egg whites later too.
- Measure the unsalted butter into the bowl with the chocolate.
- Add the hot coffee.
- By now, the water should be simmering. Place the bowl on top of the pot to create a double boiler. Slowly melt the chocolate stirring frequently.
- Once the chocolate has melted, set it aside to cool slightly.
- As the chocolate cools to body temperature, separate the eggs reserving 2 of the yolks.
- When the chocolate reaches body temperature, stir in the egg yolks.
- In a clean medium sized bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- To stabilize the egg whites, quickly whisk in the lemon juice.
- Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture a third at a time (I usually use a spatula). Make sure all the chocolate is evenly distributed before adding more egg whites.
- Ladle the mousse into your serving dishes. Typically, I use wine glasses, but this batch of mousse was going to have to travel so I went for the more practical water glasses.
- Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Remove the mousse from the fridge just before serving.
- Scatter each mousse with a few raspberries or a mint leaf and enjoy