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Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is almost a synonym for French dessert. Unfortunately, one often finds poor imitations of the real thing in France and elsewhere. The styles range from gooey to firm. This version falls into the latter group. If you like, garnish it with chocolate shavings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into very
      small pieces
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring, until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and continue to stir until the butter melts and is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds.

Separate 1 egg, placing the white in a large bowl and adding the yolk to the chocolate. Quickly whisk in the yolk, fully incorporating it. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan and let cool to lukewarm.

Add the salt to the egg whites. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the whites until stiff peaks form, then beat in the confectioners' sugar. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate, being careful not to deflate the whites.

Spoon the mixture into a large bowl or individual glasses. Cover and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve well chilled.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring France, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1999).