I have searched around for a good chocolate mousse recipe for a while now- Not much that I like, mostly because what I find omits one or another key ingredient that I think is required for a mousse. The ingredients you must have in a mousse, unless you’re trying to achieve dietary acrobatics are the following:
Chocolate (I like as high cocoa content as possible- go for 72-85%- if you want your chocolate a bit sweeter, add a little sugar- just a little.
Eggs (Local fresh eggs are key here- go to a farmers market or buy the “local” ones in your grocery store)
Heavy Whipping Cream.
That’s it! That’s all that is required! Now, on to my own recipe- it’s so basic, it’s probably what most chef’s would do because it just makes sense- less ingredients allow each other to shine. One thing I want to stress from the beginning is that I believe a good chocolate mousse should not be sweet, and it’s very easy for that to happen, after all cream has a sweetness all on its own. You may look at this recipe and think, it should have sugar in it- but don’t cave- leave it out. If you must, either choose a lower cocoa content chocolate or sweeten some whipped cream as a topper. I think you’ll be amazed how the natural sweetness of cream comes through in this dessert.
This recipe will serve 10-15 people, depending on how addicted they are to Chocolate- I think I was able to serve about 15+ with this.
Alright. Here we go.
Tools: You’ll want a nice balloon whip (whisk) for the egg whites and a hand mixer for the cream. 2 large mixing bowls and a large pyrex bowl and a 3-4 quart saucepan (unless you have a double boiler) and an instant read thermometer- though it’s not essential, it’s nice to have- you should have one anyway.
- 6 oz. plus 2 oz. (that's a half lb. total) of chocolate-I take a bread knife and break it up- if you get a thicker block of bulk chocolate it's easier to cut, like it was a hard cheese. just slowly push your way through and it will crumble.
- 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
- ½ pint of heavy whipping cream
- 6 large or jumbo local eggs-whites and yolks, separated. (if all you can find are medium local eggs- just add 1-2 more than what I call for.
- Combine your Egg Yolks with a whisk and set aside.
- Now put about 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of the saucepan and heat it over a medium low temp- you want it to simmer- place the pyrex bowl on top and put 6 oz. of the chocolate in the bowl and stir it with a silicone scraper until it is melted and set it aside, off the saucepan. it will need about 10 minutes to cool, so get whipping.
- Whip the creams together until they form stiff peaks and whip your egg whites until they also form fairly stiff peaks. —this is a good two person job- share the effort, (and share the reward).
- At this point- your chocolate should be cool enough to work with, about 110º-120º, give it a quick mixing before the next step, tempering your eggs. Have someone mixing the egg yolks with a small whisk while you pour a small amount of chocolate into the eggs, until the eggs resemble brownie batter at which point you can add the egg mixture into the chocolate bowl and combine well with the silicone scraper (spatula). Add half your whipped cream mixture and stir until combined (You can add an ounce or two of sherry or port, or brandy or other flavored liquor if you like, before moving on) and then add half the egg whites and mix just until combined- Now add the extra 2 oz. of well chopped chocolate which will provide you with a bit of texture to the final product. Finish up by folding in the remaining cream and then the remaining egg whites, being careful to not mix too much- it's ok if it doesn't look perfectly combined- you want to keep as much air in this as possible. Refrigerate, covered for a few hours or overnight.
Serve with whipped cream and or fresh berries.