Chocolate Mousse is my idea of the Holy Grail of desserts. Intense, groan-inducing, chocolate luxury, deep-brown velvety smooth, lightened with lashings of whipped cream. Having this version has prepared me to be disappointed in other recipes I’ve been served at restaurants. Perhaps this is because most
mousse desserts are lighter, almost airy in texture, lacking in the passion of pure chocolate depth like this one.
For the past year I have gone from some sugar to scarcely any, but as much as I might think that sugar is a monster of snowy-white addiction, I believe in moderation of any delicious real food, however. As far as dessert goes, this stands as a healthy one in my book due to the nutrition of top-quality chocolate, egg yolk, and cream. I would serve this to my toddler for breakfast any day over 99% of the cereals in the cereal aisle!
The sweetness level in this mousse is well-balanced by the bitterness of strong coffee. This is an excellent base recipe to experiment with, using dark chocolate, espresso, or adding drops of liqueur, you also could dramatize the presentation with tuiles, special goblets, and extra whipped cream or berries.
We’ve had this “sample recipe” page in the family for as far back as I can remember. I’m not sure how it survived 20-odd years in such a whirlwind household
but today the original recipe is still around, a corner torn, yellowed and intermediately strapped with packing tape to preserve it. From the opulent, soft photography I’d say it was from the 80’s but other than that I haven’t any idea who to credit the starter recipe to.
Photography Credit: My sister, Elisabeth Wagner
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I probably don’t need to mention that the quality of the chocolate totally affects the taste and ease of melting, sometimes Baker’s chocolate can’t quite cut it! I found some 2 pound rough-cut chunks of Callebaut at a gourmet grocery and found it was actually less expensive than Ghiradelli.)
3 tbs. organic powdered sugar
3 tbs. strong brewed coffee
3-4 free-range egg yolks
1 1/4 cups whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. The steam is what is melting the chocolate, you don’t want the bowl to be sitting in the boiling water.
2. Separate egg yolks from whites.
3. Add sugar, coffee and egg yolks to melted chocolate.
4. Here’s where things can literally become a bit sticky, it’s critical to the texture that this chocolate mixture be absolutely smooth, I used an immersion blender with excellent results.
6. Whip the cream and fold into the chocolate mixture, if it’s warm enough this step should work easily, but if it looks lumpy you may need to use a hand mixer or the immersion blender like I did. Don’t use a blender, it will deflate the air in the cream.
7. Spoon into individual bowls or cups and chill.
Eat and swoon, or woo a lover.