Marvelous Chocolate Mousse

Yum

Chocolate Mousse
The French word “mousse” means, literally, “froth.”  That is the perfect description for this dessert– a madcap mixture of decadent, chocolate flavor, and ethereal, light cream.  Mousse is one of those showstopper desserts that isn’t terribly difficult to prepare, but that creates a gorgeous presentation for a holiday dessert, or a special date night treat for you and your spouse.  Heck . . . it can even be a deliciously decadent dessert for one.  Think of it this way . . . chocolate technically comes from beans.  And beans are a vegetable.  And cream is technically milk.  And everyone knows that your Mom told you to eat your vegetables and drink your milk.  Works for me.
What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!

Marvelous Chocolate Mousse

(adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

10 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch cream of tartar

Directions:

Separate the 4 eggs into whites and yolks.  Be sure not to get any yolk in the whites mixture, or your whites will not whip properly. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, until it is just melted and smooth.  Gradually stir in your egg yolks.  Meanwhile, whip your egg whites, the pinch of cream of tartar, and the tablespoon of white sugar on high until stiff peaks form.  Fold your egg whites into the chocolate/yolk mixture, until combined.  Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla on high until it becomes whipped cream (similar to the consistency of cool whip).  Fold your whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and chill until ready to serve.
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Oh, it’s hard not to love chocolate.  It’s very, very hard.  Almost impossible, really. So let’s not try.
Let’s love it.
To make this delectable chocolate mousse, start with 10 oz. of chocolate.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale, it’s time to invest in one– they are a $10-$20 investment that will really pay off in the kitchen, with those precise measurements.  Remember the Macarons we made, here, the other day?  You can justify your kitchen scale purchase by knowing that you can’t make French Macarons without one.  Then you can turn around and use your scale for Chocolate Mousse.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Take your 10 oz. of chocolate chips (you can use any kind of chocolate you like– the higher quality the chocolate, the more decadent the mousse.  But I’ve used regular semi sweet chocolate chips for mousse, and it was fabulous, also, so use whatever you have).  Start this chocolate melting, slowly, in the microwave at 30 second intervals.  Stir the chips thoroughly after each 30 second heat, even if it doesn’t look like they need to be stirred.
Meanwhile, combine your egg whites, pinch cream of tartar (this just helps to stabilize the meringue and keep it from deflating– you don’t taste it), and 1 tbsp. white sugar.  Set your mixer to medium high, and, with the whisk attachment, start to whip your meringue.
This picture makes me laugh, because almost all the pictures I have of my 3 year old look like this, too– a blur.  Chocolate and kiddos.  The great loves of my life.  Haha.  Bluuuuuurrrrrr . . .
After a few “rounds” in the mic, your chocolate should be starting to look nice and melty. Give ‘er another 30 seconds, and stir, again.
Ahhh . . . THAT’S what we’re looking for.  The chocolate should be deliciously creamy and smooth.  Give it a good stir and get ready to make some magic!
Whip your egg yolks together, to make sure that they are nice and combined.  Slowly add the yolks, a little at a time, to the chocolate mixture.  You want to add the yolks, gradually, so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs when the eggs hit the warm chocolate.  This is called “tempering” the chocolate– adding the cooler ingredients slowly so that the total temperature gradually drops without shocking the warm and cold ingredients in a single addition.
Stir the yolks and chocolate together.  The mixture won’t be terribly smooth, but do your best to combine everything.
By this point, the egg whites should be ready.  When they form stiff peaks (the white stands straight up when you remove the beater), they are ready.  Maybe that’s what my hair is trying to do in the morning.  Those stiff peaks of bedhead are telling me I’m ready.  Ha.  Joking.
Take a few tbsp. of egg white mixture and stir it into the chocolate.  Adding a few tbsp. is necessary to lighten the chocolate, since it is still pretty dense.  That must be my problem.  I’m pretty dense.  Haha!!  I need chocolate for healing!  When you have your chocolate mixed with a few tbsp. of egg white, go ahead and add the rest of the meringue, folding it into the chocolate mixture with a spatula.  Place the chocolate into the refrigerator while you work on the cream.
Add your 2 cups of heavy cream, 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla together in a large mixing bowl.  Whip with the whisk attachment until your cream has become whipped cream– it will look kind of like cool whip.  YUM.  Taste some– in the name of science, of course.  It’s amazing.
Gently fold your whipped cream into the chocolate/meringue mixture.  Ooooh . . . isn’t that gorgeous.  Place your mousse in the fridge for several hours– it will thicken up beautifully and be ready to wow your guests when you present it.

Chocolate Mousse

You can serve this delicious little beauty in a variety of ways.  Take a smear of chocolate syrup and pipe star shaped mounds of mousse onto the smear.  Garnish with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings.  Another option is to fill individual shot glasses with mousse and top with a variety of toppings– whipped cream, chocolate curls, raspberries . . . even chocolate covered espresso beans.  You really can’t go wrong.  This little dessert is AMAZING.  Remember in Beauty and the Beast when the Candlestick tells Belle, “Try the gray stuff!  It’s delicious!”  I bet you any money that the magical “gray stuff” was mousse.  I know.  I’m overthinking it.  But one taste, and you’ll see what I mean.  Try the gray stuff.  It’s delicious.
And it is.  Ooooh, it is.
You did it.  And I’m just so proud of you.

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