French Espresso Chocolate Mousse

@spacedout_sniff posts some really really nice links every day. You really must follow her. She’s awesome! @atlasdanced says she’s the Indian @brainpicker. 🙂

So, @spacedout_sniff tweeted about Punchfork, a website that uses real-time data traffic to pull up the most popular/viewed recipes around. And that’s where I chanced upon this recipe. It looked easy. And tasty. And therefore worth giving a shot. The rules are fairly simple, aren’t they?

Oh, the Punchfork blog is pretty interesting too. You can take a look at it here.

My mum has made (instant) mousse on several occasions by melting down some vanilla ice cream, adding a choice of flavour (or fruit or chocolate chips), followed by some gelatin in warm water. 20 minutes and voila! It’s not authentic mousse, but it is good stuff, for the time and effort (both tending to minimal) involved.

I was surprised that they actually stated the quick fix as a (passable) valid recipe on serious eats. Yeah, authenticity is always an issue. But some times, you’re just hungry and don’t really want to care for anything but taste, right? It made me very very happy, on the inside. I think if I had to bring down my love for my mother to just one point, it would be her love for the family in feeding us some truly wonderful stuff every now and then.

You can find the recipe I used here.

Ingredients
(serves 4)
1. 3/4 cup high-quality chocolate (60-70% cacao is ideal)
2. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk (that works out to just a little under a half cup of milk, about 7 tablespoons)
3. 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (that worked out as 5 (Re 1) sachets of BRU)
4. 1 egg yolk
5. 4 egg whites
6. Pinch cream of tartar (which I think I forgot to use!)
7. 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
8. 1/4 tablespoon salt

Method:
1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (or using the sly, quicker technique I’ve described on a few other blog posts).
2. Bring the milk to a boil and whisk in the espresso powder, until completely dissolved.
3. Pour this into the melted chocolate and whisk well.
4. Add the egg yolk and whisk until fully incorporated. (You want to make sure the misture isn’t too hot. The egg yolk just might cook itself otherwise and you don’t want that. I messed up a batch of cupcakes onces because of that!)
5. Whip the egg whites for about 8 minutes until they form medium peaks.
6. Add the sugar and continue to beat them until they form stuff peaks.
7. Fold a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and combine them gently.
8. Now fold the remaining two thirds in. Ensure you have mixed the whites in evenly.
9. Set the mixture out into a serving bowl or indivual cups/glasses/bowls.
10. Chill for about an hour and a half.
(The original recipe says 45 minutes. But you’ll know just what happened with my mousse if you read further.)

I’d recommend you take their tip for texture seriously. My mousse, though scrumptious, was still not as stiff as I might have liked it. I set the mousse out in tall(ish) glasses, about 6 inches tall or so. The top two inches of the mousse were well set.And towards the bottom, it was almost the consistency of the gooey yumminess I had poured into the glasses an hour earlier. That was a bit of a bummer.

Also, I kept the mousse in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then transferred it to the refrigerator. I think I should have just let it stick around in the freezer for longer. An hour and a half, I’d say, if I’m giving this recipe a shot again some day.

The other problem was the grainy texture. I’m not entirely sure why that happened. May be it was because I didn’t use any cream of tartar. Just may be. I don’t remember whether I substituted with a pinch of baking powder or not. So let’s just assume it was one of those unfathomable mysteries and move on.

I’m almost convinced that recipes that claim they involve raw egg are good. The egg whites are beaten to goodness and stiffness. And I’ve begun to believe that actually cooks them. I know that’s a load of bullshit. But I’ve had raw egg before, say, in a partially (and badly) cooked omelet or bhurji. And it’s terrible. And beaten egg whites are nice. But that’s just my point of view. And as long as the vegetarians don’t figure the eggs weren’t traditionally cooked, I really have nothing to argue about.

Try it. It’s worth a shot. And if you’re too lazy or pressed for time, use the gelatin method. And no eggs. Teehee.

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One thought on “French Espresso Chocolate Mousse

  1. Shruti

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious! The coffee makes it absolutely heavenly. I put it in the freezer in 4 glasses. I tried one after about 2 hours and it wasn’t completely set. After roughly 3 and a half hours (that is from the time I kept it in the freezer initially), I tasted another one and it was perfect consistency wise.

    I also feel it depends on how wide the glass is. The original recipe used Cosmopolitan glasses so it took only 45 minutes for them. 😛

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