Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mocha Chocolate Mousse

Mocha Chocolate Mousse

I know how to make the tummies in my house very happy! And you know tummies can be happy, right?  Rich, creamy, homemade mousse will do the trick.  This is my husband's very favorite dessert!  I have been promising to make chocolate mousse for awhile and on Saturday I finally had a little time. (You know, three day weekend and all.)  I have looked at lots of different recipes, so I combined a few and took a chance.  It turned out great.  We loved the combination of chocolate and coffee.  The kids weren't that thrilled with the mocha flavor (I didn't say they didn't eat it) so I made another batch without the coffee.  Both were great, but the hubby and I agreed that the mocha version is the best!

Quick note before you start: First, use good quality chocolate.  Your final product is only as good as the individual ingredients, so try a great tasting Belgian or European style chocolate.  Next, mousse is actually pretty easy to make, you just want to be sure to use fresh eggs and make sure there are no cracks.  Remember, we are using raw eggs in this dish, so if you are particularly concerned about salmonella, I would stay away from this dessert.  Finally, no short cuts on the beating!  Beat, beat, beat those egg whites (and also the whipping cream).  The firmer the egg whites and whipping cream, the firmer and denser the mousse.  The mousse will still be light when you first spoon it into the dishes, but will become firm as it sits in the refrigerator.

Mocha Chocolate Mousse
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons brewed coffee (strong)
2 large eggs, separated

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium-sized bowl, heat the chocolate and butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir well and add the coffee.  Heat for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. If necessary, repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Then whisk in the two egg yolks. Refrigerate this mixture while you whip the egg whites and whipping cream.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the two egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, yet the whites are still glossy and not dry. Set aside.

In another bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining one tablespoon sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator and stir a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Next,  fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture, gently but thoroughly. Fold in the whipped cream.

Spoon the chocolate mousse into four individual serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  I serve the mousse with additional homemade whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

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