Mousse au chocolate is the best and well known French dessert. Recipes for foams both sweet and savoury ( mousse is the French word for foam) were recorded by 18th-century French cook book writer Menon. His book Suppers at Court, was published in 1755, describes Louis XV’s favourite chocolate drink as a mixture of melted chocolate, boiling water and beaten egg (white or yolk).
The 19th-century painter and fond of cooking Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec penned a similar recipe, calling it chocolate mayonnaise. These ideas were ignored by Escoffier’s Guide Culinaire (1903) with its 19 savoury mousse recipes and iced mousse desserts.
Nowadays we prepare choco mousse according to the classic ’60s chocolate mousse recipe so that we combine melted chocolate with egg yolks and beaten egg whites. The late Robert Carrier (1923-2006, American chef, culinair book author) added whipped cream, strong coffee and rum. Now, that’s my kind of choco mousse, here is the recipe:
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup super fine sugar
- 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- Small chocolate shavings or chocolate nibs, for garnish
- 2 tbsp instant coffee Nestlé
- for decoration: Fresh raspberry
In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of hot water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring. Remove from the heat and beat with a heavy wooden spoon until smooth. Return to the heat and 1 at a time, add the yolks, beating well after the addition of each. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and beat until stiff.
In a third bowl, beat the cream until it becomes frothy. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, coffee and the Grand Marnier and continue beating until it holds soft peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until no white speaks appear. Gradually fold in the whipped cream, reserving about 1/2 cup for garnish.
Transfer to a large decorative silver or glass bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.
To serve, spoon the reserved whipped cream on top and garnish with chocolate shavings or fresh raspberry.