This essential recipe a few days late, unchanged.  Elaborate desserts can be a fun project, as long as you know the back pocket items that make complicated desserts and dinner guests swoon.  

Steak dinner? Offer a perfect dollop of chocolate mousse.  Perfect roast chicken? How about some chocolate mousse?  Simple pasta arrabattia?  Chocolate mousse. Grilled caesar salad on a lighter yet flavorful evening? Chocolate. Mousse.

 

I have seen many mousses in my day and think that three things are important in the process:

Choose chocolate you like to eat on it's own and melt it carefully.  Don't grab chips or a bar that you woulnd't savor on its own.  Instead spring for that semi-sweet or dark chocolate that you think is divine.  The dessert will thank you.  Melt it slowly too, chocolate is a sensitive structure of cocoa solids, fat and sugar that needs to be melted slowly and gently until it reaches about 95F.

Don't over-whip your eggs.  This mousse calls for whole eggs, but many call for egg whites.  Overwhipped protein does not add a glossy lightness yet strength to your melted chocolate.  If the eggs are too runny from either under whipping or over whipping, when you have exhausted the protein structure, it is better to grab a few more and start again. Remember, the chocolate is your greatest investment here.

on that note

Don't over-whip your cream (or fold it into a hot chocolate base!).  Another fine line between soft, medium and strong peaks.  The cream adds strength and lightness to your chocolate base as well as that amazing creamy mouthfeel.  Under-whipped cream with a very soft peak will create a more dense mousse once set.  Over whipped cream will be hard to fold into your base to create a uniform mix.  Go for medium peaks to allow the cooled chocolate base to be folded into the cold cream to create a light and rich mousse.

Chocolate Mousse

600g Heavy Cream, whipped to medium peaks

4 each Large Organic Eggs

150g Granulated Sugar

50g water (for pate a bombe)  pate a bombe 120C

500g  Dark Chocolate 60-70%

1. In a Kitchen-Aid mixer, whip eggs on medium high.

2. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, combine sugar with enough water to create wet sand.

3. Cook sugar on medium high heat until it reaches 235F, soft ball.

4. With the mixer on low, slowly stream in sugar into whipping eggs.

5. Return mixer to medium high to whip eggs.  Once eggs are light ribbons, turn mixer to low.

6. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl either on a water bath or in the microwave on low.

7.  Chocolate should be warm, not hot and eggs should be room temperature.

8. Fold half of eggs into chocolate to lighten. Fold remaining eggs into chocolate.

9. Add a scoop of cream to chocolate to fold and lighten.

10. Transfer chocolate to remaining cream bowl and fold together until smooth.

11. Place bowl in fridge to allow chocolate to set. 

TIP: I love serving mousse straight from a ceramic bowl! *With a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts