Mar 19, 2013

Chocolate mousse (fondant au chocolat)

I was looking for a mousse recipe that doesn't use sweet cream. I don't have far to go and get some. I don't have to get in the car, I don't have to drive to a nearest Wallmart and go through aisles and people and cash registers to get sweet cream. Still, when it's not in my fridge, I don't have it. I like my "I don't have it" challenges. I don't give up easily.

I browsed the web for 5 minutes - nothing. I opened "Mastering the Art of French Cuisine" and there it was. Mousse that doesn't use cream, instead - butter. And Julia said, it was the best mousse. So I read and read to understand it all. When I did, I rolled up my sleeves and prepared about 10 bowls: for ingredients, for cold water, hot water, for beating yolks, whipping eggs...bowls and bowls were everywhere. 

I made mousse for my friends on Saturday. They enjoyed it very much. I waited and had some the next day. Drinks and desserts, I don't mix. The mousse is very delicate, creamy, it has a very subtle orange note. It's rich by itself. It would go well with whipped cream on the side. But...then again, I enjoyed it without the cream.

Recipe adapted from Julia Child

time: 30 min preparation + 3 hrs cooling = 3hr 30min


4 eggs (separated yolks from whites)
3/4 cups (120 g) powder sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I made my own: 2 teaspoons vodka + 1 teaspoon sugar + zest from 1 orange)

6 oz (170 g) dark chocolate (50% cocoa)

4 Tablespoons strong coffee
1 1/2 stick (170 g) soft butter

pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar


Prepare a pot of not-quite-simmering water. Prepare a bowl with cold water.
In a bowl of a standing mixer, beat egg yolks with sugar till thick and pale yellow. Beat in the orange liqueur. Then set the mixing bowl over the not-quite-simmering pot and continue beating for 3-4 minutes till too hot to your finger and foamy. Then beat over cold water for another 3-4 minutes till cold again. It should have a consistency of mayonnaise.

Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in the butter, piece by piece, slowly to make a smooth creamy mixture. Beat in the chocolate mix into the egg mix. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till soft peak forms. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat some more till hard peak forms. Beat in 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest. 

Pour the mousse into one serving dish or small dessert dishes. At first, it doesn't look like a mousse but it firms up after minimum 3 hours. It's also excellent the next day.

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