I love chocolate. I love it. I love dark chocolate, milk chocolate, all variations of semi-sweet chocolate because it’s delicious and satisfying. It goes without saying that I also love chocolate desserts. As such, should you find yourself dining with me in (any) restaurant, I will always gravitate toward a chocolate treat and be a little disappointed if one is not available. France also loves chocolate. I don’t think I’ve had dinner out where it wasn’t on the dessert menu. A staple here is mousse au chocolat or chocolate mousse for you English speakers. I order it often, but I’ve also started making it at home (a lot). And this is where I recommend that all of you start making it at home, too, because it’s incredibly easy and absolutely delicious. I have no doubt in my mind it’ll turn into your go-to dinner party dessert and/or weeknight surprise.
I grew up in a pudding house. Every so often my mom would make chocolate, vanilla, or butterscotch pudding. If we’d been extra good, she might make a chocolate and vanilla layered pudding (my favorite). But, I can’t recall ever eating mousse at home nor can I remember seeing it listed as a dessert on too many menus back in the states. I think the first time I had chocolate mousse might’ve been at Mozart’s in Austin, TX (it’s a coffee house in Austin [I don’t drink coffee], but if you find yourself in the neighborhood, I recommend it as there’s also a nice outdoor vibe/view). It was pretty amazing. I decided, then, that chocolate mousse must be incredibly difficult to make…so I never even looked into it. That is until I moved to France.
If you recall, back when we first moved here I stumbled upon David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris (I wrote about it here). It’s a great read that’s peppered throughout with various recipes for this and that. One of my favorite (obviously) is for mousse au chocolat. Interestingly, he has two recipes: (1) avec des oeufs crus ou (2) sans oeufs crus.
The first time we made the mousse, we made it without raw eggs (#2). So, it had lots of butter and heavy cream. The second (and subsequent times) we’ve made the mousse, we’ve done it with the raw eggs. Trust me when I say it’s better and easier with the raw eggs. Go that route.
All you need (Makes 4-6):
7 oz (200g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3T (45ml) water
2T (30ml) Chartreuse (we use a chocolate liqueur, instead)
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Pinch of course salt
So start off with your chocolate, water, and liqueur in a double boiler until it’s totally melted. Let it cool. Then whip the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form.
Then add the egg yolks to the chocolate, then slowly fold in the egg whites 1/3 at a time.
Then place in bowls, cover, and refrigerate for at least three hours and up to (maximum) five days.
Et voila! Grab a spoon and eat with someone you love.