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The beauty of French recipes, and also the barrier at times, is the technique that ensures a quality meal so long as the ingredients are top quality as well. The surprise in making a handful of recipes so far out of Thomas Keller’s successful cookbook Bouchon, inspired by his restaurant Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, Napa Valley, is that you aren’t using a long list of ingredients or rare oddities, rather quality ingredients that are combined and molded in such a way that create a treat for the senses.
Sure to impress your guests or family, Keller’s Dark Chocolate Mousse is light and airy, but sweet and rich at the same time. It will certainly satiate your sweet tooth at the end of a meal. Just be sure to make it the morning before the dinner or the day before so it has time to set.
Dark Chocolate Mousse (Mousse au Chocolat Noir)
from Thomas Keller’s cookbook Bouchon
*makes 8 small servings or 4 ramekins (as seen above)
- 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Manjari (64%) or Ghiradelli’s, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, diced
- 2 tablespoons espresso or hot water
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm. If it is too cool, the mixture will seize when the other ingredients are added.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks, then refrigerate. You can do with this by hand and it takes maybe 2-3 minutes.
- Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape (by hand, this will take about 5-7 minutes). Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until soft peaks form (expect another 5-10 minutes). Be patient; the soft peaks will appear.
- When the chocolate has reached the proper temperature, stir in the yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the whipped cream. Fold in half the whites just until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining whipped cream. (Do this all by hand to keep the mixture as light, fluffy and full of air as possible.)
- Spoon or pipe the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes (I used small ramekins). Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. The mousse can be refrigerated for up to a day.
- Serve the mousse with cookies or enjoy alone.