Monday, August 25, 2014

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse

Copyright 2014 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This was my third attempt and I should also say successful in terms of having a mousse that holds its shape when eaten. Normally, this recipe would have been a no-brainer given that I have tackled more complicated recipes than this. However, there are a lot of things to be said when your main problem is not the technique but rather, the ingredient. This version of chocolate mousse is decadent because you basically have nothing more save for eggs, chocolate, and butter. The trick is, you have to use the best ingredients to achieve this French chocolate mousse.

The recipe I used came courtesy of Dave Lebovitz from his own blog. The recipe is of course from Julia Child's iconic book, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. Even my French friend, Cedric, made this dessert during our chocolate mousse battle about three years ago. When his parents came to visit, they also made this wonderful dessert for us and it was heavenly. 

I made a modified version of this dessert and is posted on this blog but I have always wanted to try the read deal. That is when I came to have problems. First off, get the best chocolates you can get. I have been using a block of baking chocolate at our local baking store here which makes it a bit cheaper but it turned out that it is thusly priced and for good reason. The chocolate has a lot of additives and is really not suited for this type of preparation. This successful attempt was due to my use of a combination of both unsweetened dark chocolate and Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Next up is the butter. Use the unsalted butter kind and make sure it is real butter. Don't go for the substitutes as they will not work as well. Lastly, get the freshest eggs as much as possible. They really do make a big difference.

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse - Adapted*

4 oz Hershey's semisweet chocolate
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup strong black coffee
2/3 cup white sugar + 1 tbsp
4 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp brandy
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a small metal bowl, melt the chocolates, coffee and butter over a pot 
    with barely simmering water. Set aside. 

2. In another metal bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and brandy over a pot
    with barely simmering water until the mixture is thick like mayonnaise. 

3. Immediately dunk the egg yolk mixture in a larger bowl filled with ice. 
    Beat until cool and thick. Fold in the chocolate mixture carefully. 

4. In a third separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks 
    are formed. Add the 1 tbsp sugar and continue to beat until it becomes 
    glossy but not stiff. Fold in the vanilla.

5. Fold a third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture and once
    incorporated, fold in the rest of the beaten egg whites. Do not overdo it 
    or the mousse will lose volume. 

6. Scoop a good amount of mousse into ramekins and seal the top with 
    clingfilm. Chill for 4 hours or until the mousse has set. 
*Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse: Dave Lebovitz: Living the Sweet Life in Paris.

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