Mousse Memories. . . Old & New
My brother kindly gave me a copy of Pierre Herme's magnificent "Chocolate Desserts" for Christmas, and I've been drooling over it ever since. He came for a visit this weekend, so I decided I simply had to make something from the book. Nothing could be more appropriate than chocolate mousse, which has been my dessert of choice since I was three. Waitresses used to always assume I meant chocolate pudding when I requested mousse, but they were wrong -- only mousse would do! This recipe is fantastic and easy, and manages to be both rich and light at the same time. It's a bit altered here to reflect the way I made it.
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (which I didn't have, so I used about equal parts unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate)
1/3 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
1 large egg yolk
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Melt the chocolate either in a double-boiler or microwave. It should still feel fairly warm to the touch when you use in the next steps.
2. Boil the milk, then pour it over the chocolate. Whisk them together gently. Add the egg yolk and whisk it gently into the chocolate just until it's incorporated.
3. Beat the egg whites just until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites until they are firm but still glossy.
4.Scoop 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk them together. Then, delicately but thoroughly fold the remainder of the whites into the mixture.
5.Turn the mousse into a large serving bowl or individual cups and refrigerate for 1 hour to set.