Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mousse au chocolat; or, Why the Good Lord Invented French People

One of my dear former roommates is from France, and has greatly added to my enjoyment of foods over the years. I believe she and I single-handedly fueled the entire market for imported European salamis in Utah at one point. One of the best things she makes is a mousse au chocolat, and so I asked her for the recipe so I could make it for a recent Young Women's activity.

Turns out she adapted the recipe from this one she'd found at, which is a lot of fun and a lot of trouble if you're ever tempted to brush up on your French and/or stuff amazing things into your pie hole.

I used the online version of the recipe, making a couple alterations and tailoring it to our China circumstances. I could still get everything here, but it ended up being pretty pricey for ingredients by the time I was done. Afterwards, I was talking with a friend at church and she had the idea of getting the chocolate from Ikea. I will definitely do this if I try it again. The cheapest butter I found was at Carrefour - about 25 kuai for 250 grams of the lovely New Zealand stuff - but I'm open to cheaper alternatives for that as well if anyone knows any.

Here's the version of the recipe I ended up putting together:

- 375 grams dark chocolate (I measured it by adding up the net weights of chocolate bars)
- 150 g butter
- 6 eggs
- about 100 g sugar
- 1 pinch of salt

The chocolate I found was Hershey's Special Dark which was, in my opinion, way too sweet, but a lot of you might like it. See what else you can experiment with.

This ended up being too much sugar, I thought, but again, your milage may vary.

Separate the eggs and keep the whites in the fridge. Meanwhile, semi-melt the butter and mix it well with the 6 egg yolks and the sugar. It's beautiful but I promise you it is worth your while to avoid sticking your finger in and tasting it. Mmm, yolk!

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or, you know, get real, we're in China - float a metal bowl in a wok full of water and just be really careful not to burn your fingers. Then, mix it into the yellow mixture until it's smooth and lovely.

The trickiest part is then to whip the egg whites with the dash of salt until they form stiff peaks. This was only tricky because I don't have an electric beater. It was indeed a bit of a workout for the forearm, but it turns out it's a lot quicker to whip egg whites by hand than to make your own whipped cream by hand. And some of us have been driven by desperation to do both, and still lived to tell the tale!

Now, gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. I did this by pouring them into the bowl and then using a stirring motion that went from the center of the bowl, outward to the edge and pulling the chocolate up over the middle while turning the bowl. Whatever works for you, though - incorporate the two together without stirring the daylights out of your mixture to keep the volume of the egg whites. Now refrigerate the whole thing for three hours (if you can stand the wait!) and enjoy!

Warning: eat a very small serving if you don't want to put yourself into a sugar and chocolate coma. We wouldn't blame you, though, if you decide that would be a nice way to go. It really would, wouldn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! This is very similar to the filling for my chocolate cream pie recipe. Crush vanilla wafers in the mixer for a the pie crust, and drizzle with melted butter until it is sticky, then press into a pie plate and bake for like 10 minutes at 359 until it's brown. When it's cool pour the mousse into the crust, then top with heavy whipping cream barely sweetened with a bit of sugar. Freeze or refrigerate overnight. It's so good! I use plain dark bakers chocolate instead of sweetened bars, and I don't separate or whip the whites, just beat the whole egg mixture together until it's very light and fluffy. There should be a warning that it's made with raw eggs, but oo la la it's very French and very delicious!