Now, the classic French mousse is made with raw egg whites. The egg whites are whipped to soft peaks and are folded into the melted chocolate. This gives the chocolate it’s light, airy texture. If you want to make this, be sure to get really excellent quality eggs. I would opt for a cage free, humanely certified, organic, antibiotic free, brand. Besides being humane, the eggs are less likely to be bad. However, I prefer to not use egg whites. Instead I like the version that you can make using whipped cream. It gives a similar light, airy texture without having to deal with the problem of salmonella.
What You Will Need:
- Double Boiler*
- Dark Chocolate
- Heavy Cream
- Hand Mixer*
- Granulated Sugar
5 large egg yolks—4 If you’re using extra-large eggs.
½ cup granulated sugar
9 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate (I like to get a block of chocolate and shave it. You could also use nibs, or small morsels from someone like Nestle. I think that dark chocolate works best, though, so try and avoid milk chocolate)
8 ounces of heavy cream
Set up a double boiler. Fill the bottom with water and let it get hot. While this is happening, beat the eggs in a bowl.
The idea here is to make a chocolate custard, and then gently fold in the whipped cream. The whipped cream is a substitute for whipped egg whites.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in the double boiler. Make sure to whisk the sugar and eggs so that they blend well. You should mix this for a few minutes until the mixture thickens up a bit. At this point you can add a tablespoon of water and whisk it in. Continue mixing until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. This is the safe temperature—above this temperature and you don’t have to worry about the normal problems with raw eggs. The custard should be thick at this point.
Remove the top of the double boiler and mix in the chocolate. I like to use shaved dark chocolate from callebaut, however you can also use chips from nestle or some other brand. Try and not use milk chocolate, though because it won’t set right.
Make sure to make sure that the chocolate is completely mixed into the custard and melted. If it doesn’t melt, then you can return it to the double boiler and turn the heat back on. If you are using larger chunks of chocolate, you might have to mix this chocolate in while on the double boiler anyway.
Whip up the heavy cream. Let it rest in the fridge.
Once the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, let it cool down a bit. If it’s too hot, it will simply melt the whipped cream. Once the chocolate mixture has been cooled down you can fold in the whipped cream. Try and not mix it, fold it with a small spatula or a large serving spoon.
You should pour the mousse into individual serving cups. This makes it much more elegant than scooping it out. You could use small martini glasses, large shot glasses, or anything that you think looks pretty.
*Double Boiler ,Whisk and Handheld Mixer
If you’re going to be making chocolate desserts such as mousse and truffles, then these are two items you absolutely must have. Some people do use a makeshift double boiler by putting a bowl on top of a pot of water, but I would get a dedicated double boiler. The main advantage is that it will have a handle on the top portion. If you put a heat proof bowl on top of a boiling pot of water, the bowl will get very hot and you could burn yourself.
This double boiler top from Nordic pro is a great choice. It is stainless steel, has a handle, and is not expensive.
When choosing a whisk, you want to make sure to get one that has a wide bottom. The best are the “balloon whisks”. The whole purpose of using a whisk is to incorporate air into the food, so you want a device that will allow the maximum amount of air in. This one from Oxo is a great choice.
A handheld mixer is really important for making whipped cream. It’s infinitely easier than using a manual mixer. They are not expensive, and will save you tons of time and energy. I like the ones that KitchenAid makes.