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Chocolate mousse (V)

chocolate2


More than anything else, this is a recipe that I really struggled to get right. Everything I ever read on the subject failed to adequately communicate the required texture of the beaten egg whites. Stiff peaks? Soft peaks? Foamy? Stiff and glossy?

 

Likewise, the repeated commands not to stir the egg whites into the chocolate, but "always, always fold gently!" What exactly did that mean? It took many collapsed mousses for me to figure it out.

 

Now I am writing a recipe myself, I appreciate how hard it can be to communicate in words the precise effect you want. I hope the description below is adequate - if not, please let me know.

 

I do not have a very sweet tooth, so this is quite a bitter mousse. If you prefer something a little sweeter, add a few teaspoons of sugar to the beaten egg whites and whisk again briefly to incorporate the sugar before folding into the chocolate.

 

Makes 4

 

3 eggs

100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

 

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl over, but not touching, simmering water. Turn the heat off as soon as the chocolate begins to melt.

 

Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until they are opaque and holding a loose shape. They do not need to be so stiff you can sculpt with them, but stiff enough to leave noticeable dents and peaks in the mixture when you lift the whisk out. (You can, apparently, do this without an electric whisk, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to suffer metaphorical heartache and literal armache.)

 

Mix the egg yolks quickly into the melted chocolate, then use a whisk to mix in about one quarter of the egg whites. Use a light spatula (plastic, for instance) to fold the rest of the egg whites in gently. I do this by sliding the spatula down the edge of the bowl to the bottom, bringing a dollop of the mixture from the bottom on top of the spatula and gently turning it over onto the top. Repeat, but don't overmix - stop as soon as the mixture is pretty much a uniform colour.

 

Spoon gently into glasses, or bowls and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.


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