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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spiced Mousse au Chocolat

I've been somewhat intrigued by the texture of snow or stiff egg whites once they are chilled.  Mousse is so mysterious because you can break down pretty much anything and fold it into magically snowy egg whites and have this airy yet decadent dessert.  It is one of the reasons I liked the Tiramisu process and outcome.  Here is a traditional French recipe with just enough tinkering to make it my own.  I've been eating Mousse au Chocolat since I was very young, but only while visiting family in France.  I ended up thinking it was just something too impossible to recreate at home (yes I was very very young to be thinking that).  Yes, my mother is still afraid of raw or runny American eggs, just as she wouldn't eat any type of steak with a touch of pink in it.  She would only trust the French eggs from the neighbors yard but still would never have them raw or runny but for this tiny blissful exception.  After returning home to California after a summer in France, we would talk about all the wonderful things we ate and salivate just thinking about the next time we would get to spoon a bit of velvety chocolate mousse into our mouths.
Time went by and Mousse au Chocolat has been ever present in my life since moving to France, so I never really had the urge to make it.. Until very recently with my snowy eggwhite infatuation.  The first time I made Chocolate Mousse, my brother helped me.  I don't know why but this dessert is just a family affair.  Epwhen we were younger we would each be assigned a step in the process, and the best part, of course, was the clean up.. Or the licking of the mixing bowls and whips.. Full of smooth chocolately raw egg goodness!
Serves 4
100g (3.5oz) dark chocolate (I used 75% and 80%)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chile powder
4 small or 3 large eggs, yolks separated
50g cane sugar
1.  Beat the egg yolks well with the sugar.  Set aside.
2.  In a separate mixing bowl, make snow with the egg whites and a pinch of salt.  Make sure they are nice and stiff.  Set aside.
3.  Break the chocolate into pieces in another separate bowl along with the butter, cinnamon, and chile powder.  Place the bowl on a pot of simmering water, making sure the bowl only touches water and not the bottom or sides of the pot.  This is called a "bain marie."  I don't know who Marie is, but it helps the chocolate melt gently without being scorched by direct heat.  Whisk as it melts into a nice house mogenous mixture.
4.  Here comes the tricky part.  It works better with 4 hands if you can organize that.  Turn the heat off the simmering pot, but keep the bowl on the hot water.  Carefully pour the yolk/sugar mixture while continuing to whisk.  If you do this correctly, the chocolate will not clump and the yolks will not curdle.
5.  With your 4 hands, fold the chocolate mixture into the snowy egg whites.  Do not whisk.  You want to keep that fluffy snow texture.  Do this gently until all the chocolate is incorporated.
6.  Pour into one large serving dish or 4 small portions, depending on if you're planning on serving this family style, or fancy style.
7.  Chill for at least 4 hours.  This will make those egg whites set and become a firm mousse texture.  I had some hardened chocolate I just flicked over the top of my mousse before refrigerating.  That happened because I did this with only 2 hands.  Yes, my mousse helper happens to be too far away to fly over from Phoenix for this small but delicious event.
Enjoy chilled.
The spices are subtle, but you can feel them there.  Chocolate is so much better when enhanced with cinnamon and chile!
Ooh I think next time I'll play around with the spices and add cumin or ginger to the mix!

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1 comment:

  1. your offering is an invitation to dream.  Cinnamon and Chile , What else . . .