Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cooking Corner: Chocolate Mousse

Ok, I took a few breaks from the 52 week challenge on my blog because the meals were either total failures (Offal Week - Chicken Kidney Dirty Rice, we ordered pizza), or have already been featured (coconut shrimp), but I'm back with week 6, chocolate! I knew I didn't want to bake, but it's hard to make savory chocolate - so I decided to do chocolate mousse, which mostly utilizes cooking skills.

You'll Need:
3 Tablespoons Butter
6 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 separated eggs
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

So to start, you need to cube up 3 tablespoons of butter into pretty small cubes and then break into pieces 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate. Throw all these into a metal bowl that you can use for a double boiler and put them over a pan of boiling water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. I was TERRIFIED the first time I used a double boiler and did my best to avoid it, but I promise, it's super easy and not scary, and you won't get burnt!  Let this melt and stir it with a wooden spoon until smooth. Then, one by one, whisk in those egg yolks, returning to the heat as you do. When you're done, it will look like the picture below. Set it aside.

Melty, Chocolatey Goodness!
OK, so now turn to the egg whites. Put them into a bigger bowl than you think you need, because these little suckers grow. Seriously, cooking science is AWESOME! Grab your electric mixer and start beating these puppies up (I stayed on the low setting for better control). When those egg whites get nice and foamy, add your 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. That's going to help them stiffen up. Keep beating until soft peaks form. When I say "soft peaks" - that means you can see the ripples, but when you turn off your beater, those ripples go away. When you have soft peeks, gradually beat in that sugar, little by little, and keep beating until hard peaks form. These will NOT go away when you turn your beater off. It looks a little something like the picture below. When you finish, set this mixture aside
See the ripple-y peaks?
OK, finally, grab that CHILLED heavy cream. Pour it into a CHILLED bowl (I took a metal bowl and threw it in the freezer for a few minutes). Grab your electric mixer again and start beating that cream until it starts to stiffen. This will take longer than the egg whites!! When it's stiff, add in your 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Then keep beating until you get those hard peaks again!  Do NOT over beat, or you'll get some awkwardly sweet butter!

Got it? Ok. Good. Now grab all three mixtures. Slowly and gently FOLD your egg white mixture into the chocolate. I used a wooden spoon, but a spatula can work well too. Now this is not stirring or beating. Take your spoon and scrape it along the bottom of the pan and bring it up over the mixture.  Think about when you get a Blizzard from DQ (not paid for this reference) and you have to scoop the bottom up over the top so the topping gets fully incorporated! I did about 1/2 the egg white mixture at a time. Keep folding until fully incorporated, but do not over work your mousse or it will become too thick. Next, fold in your whipped cream. Can you believe it? You're done! You've created professional-grade mousse, at home, and you didn't even break a sweat!  And it should look like this:

It looks sooo good!

Cover it up and throw it in the fridge for about an hour to let it set. Then grab a spoon and dig in! Or.. ya know.. put it in cute little cups and share with others (but sharing is SO overrated).

1 comment:

  1. The water in your double boiler shouldn't be boiling; a gentle simmer is best. Is that why you were terrified?