Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chocolate Mousse...deliciously cliché!

Does everyone have a sweet tooth like mine? God, I hope not, or all you'll see are these obese, sugar-laden bodies lurching down your street, glazed over eyes searching out that next sugar fix. Any morsel of chocolate dropped by some careless child. Begging old ladies for that linty piece of hard candy they all carry in the pockets of their wooly sweaters....ewww, wait, that goes too far...sorry. But I think you get my point, and the other night we had just the thing that would give any sugar...or chocolate...junkie their fix. Don't be giving me any of your "how cliché" sass either, because well-made chocolate mousse never disappoints. Especially when it is this easy, and this good. It seriously took less than 25 minutes start to finish, not counting a little fridge time to set all that chocolatey goodness up. This was a recipe from NY Times food columnist Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything", which is becoming one of our go-to resources for good, quick, well-thought out recipe ideas. So far he's pretty much batting a hundred, and I'd recommend this as must-have for any cooking library. The mousse itself was perfectly light, decadently rich with the perfect chocolate hit, and each bite was accompanied by much moaning and eyes-rolling-to-the-back-of-the-head satisfaction. You need more than that? Go ask grandma for some hard candy!
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Chocolate Mousse
from How to Cook Everything

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1- use a double boiler or a small saucepan over low heat to melt the butter and chocolate together. Just before the chocolate finishes melting, remove it from the stove and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

2- transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and beat in egg yolks with a whisk. Refrigerate.

3- beat the egg whites with half the sugar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.

4- stir a couple of spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in the remaining whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in the cream and refrigerate until chilled. If you are in a hurry, divide the mousse among six cups; it will chill much faster. Serve within a day or two of making.


Bill said...

Mark Bittman's books are amazing. I'd really like to recommend his second title "The Best Recipes in the World" too... It's got more of an "international" slant to it, and every recipe I've used so far has been a home run. I really like the fact that it doesn't have any pictures, leaving everything up to the cook's imagination.

bb said...

I haven't seen it, but now you've given me yet another reason to spend money on food related indulgence....excellent!!!
Thanks for the tip, too!