I think Chocolate mousse is my favourite dessert hands down!
And when it is made with dark chocolate, it's even better.
I've made a number of versions of it over the years but this is the one I like the best.
It's an elegant and light finish to a special dinner or holiday meal.
Two things to note before you make it.
1. The eggs are not cooked in this recipe. This has never been a problem for me but I realize that it does matter to some people. Young children and people with compromised immune systems should be made aware that you are serving a dessert that contains raw eggs.
2. Make this recipe the day before your party.
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate (65-70% cocoa) finely chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup coffee flavoured liqueur such as Baileys or Kaluha OR 1/4 cup brewed Espresso coffee
- 1 envelope (.25 ounce) unflavoured gelatin
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the garnish:
- 2 ounces good quality dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons shaved paraffin, if desired. (It is found in the canning section of the grocery store and I use it to firm up the chocolate shapes.)
- Whipped cream
- In a heavy pot, over medium low heat, heat whipping cream. Do not let it come to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring well to melt. Place over low heat for a moment or two if needed to completely melt the chocolate.
- Add the butter a spoonful at a time and stir until it is incorporated into the chocolate/cream mixture. It should be just lukewarm at this point.
- Beat yolks until frothy.
- Add beaten egg yolks a little at a time to the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan.
- When it has softened, heat gently until it is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Stir dissolved gelatin into chocolate mixture.
- Add vanilla and liqueur or Espresso and stir until blended.
- Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat reserved egg whites until frothy.
- Add sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture, folding up and over until there are no longer any white streaks.
- Using small dessert dishes or teacups, measure 1/2 cup mousse into each dish.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- For Garnish, melt chocolate and paraffin (if desired) in a small dish over hot (not boiling) water. Stir until smooth.
- Place melted chocolate in piping bag or squeeze bottle with narrow tip.
- Place waxed paper on a baking sheet and "draw" filagree patterns or desired shapes (Christmas trees, stars, leaves) with the chocolate (Alternately, you could trace simple shapes on to paper and place it under the waxed paper as a guide.) Refrigerate shapes until solid.
- Garnish mousse just before serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a chocolate shape.
Makes 10 1/2 cup servings