Welcome to 2013 my friends! There’s no better way to ring in the New Year, but with chocolate. Chocolate mousse or should I say “mousse au chocolat” is a rich French dessert with air bubbles that give it a light and airy texture. The darker the chocolate you use, the deeper and more intense your chocolate flavor will be. France is an amazing place that I would love to visit again, but until then I get my French fix with this chocolate mousse.
Chocolate mousse was my claim to fame in high school French club. Our teacher, Madame Hasler, gave me a photocopied recipe from some French cookbook and I ran with it and perfected the making of mousse. During French club meetings we always had a smorgasbordboard of French food and my classmates often requested I make the mousse because my mousse was “très riche et délicieuse”.
Of course I had to hunt down this cookbook and I eventually found it. FRENCH, delicious classic cuisine made easy by Carole Clements & Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen contains the chocolate mousse recipe that I hold near and dear to my foodie heart. I have, however, made a couple tweaks. Adding a layer of Oreo cookies at the bottom is typically “not very French,” but I like a little crunch with my mousse. Feel free to omit that ingredient if you want a more “true French chocolate mousse”. I highly recommend this cookbook because it has many other wonderful French recipes for any course.
I hope you enjoy this chocolaty recipe as much as I have the past 10 years. Add it to your dessert toolbox by using this printer friendly version. Bon Appetit and best wishes for 2013!
• 8oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 4 tablespoons water
• 2 tablespoons brandy
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 4 eggs, separated
• 6 tablespoons heavy cream
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
• 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
• 8oz Whipped Cream, for topping
• 1 Hersey’s Chocolate Bar, for chocolate curl decoration
• 16-20 Oreo cookies
01. Place chocolate and water in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the brandy and butter.
02. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks for 2-3 minutes until thick and creamy, then slowly beat into the melted chocolate until well blended. Set aside.
03. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and stir a spoonful into the chocolate mixer to lighten it. Fold in the remaining heavy cream.
04. In a clean grease free bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites slowly until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed and continue beating until they form soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle the sugar over the egg white mixture and continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy.
05. Using a rubber spatula or large metal spoon, stir a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites, cutting down to the bottom along the sides and up to the top in a semicircular motion until they are just combined. Don’t worry about a few white streaks.
06. Crush Oreo cookies and place in the bottom of an 8-cup dish or divide between 8 individual dishes. I recommend using a food chopper to crush the Oreos but you can also place the cookies in a plastic Ziploc bag and crush them with a glass cup.
07. Gently spoon or pipe chocolate mousse over the crushed Oreo cookies. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours so the mousse can set and chill.
08. Spoon or pipe whipped cream over the mousse and decorate with chocolate curls before serving.
09. You can easily make chocolate curls with a Hersey Bar. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully draw it along the side of the candy bar. This works best if the chocolate is at room temperature. If the chocolate does not seem to be soft enough, you can place it in the microwave at 5-second intervals until it becomes soft enough to work with. The chocolate curls will be very delicate. I recommend using a toothpick to help place the curls without breaking them.