No, if you're like me, it's something you need. I always feel like somewhat of a tool whenever I get the chocolate craving. I'm one of those who LOVES all things cocoa-fied. It almost seems too easy, too unoriginal. But nothing satisfies like a nice, smooth, sensual spoonful of mousse or panna cotta (that's why my experience at Simpatica was so crushing), or even an old-school dish of chocolate pudding. Chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream slathered in Hershey's syrup, dark chocolate bars. You get where I'm going....or maybe where I'm from? That's why this little dish of chocolate mousse from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" is so nice. A quick, all-too-easy dessert to throw together for your next dinner party that will have your friends acting like giddy little kids. We had six people and there was enough left over for everyone to have a small second portion if they want...and they will!
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from How to Cook Everything
I also topped this with chopped roasted pistachios which added a perfect salty-nutty counterpoint. I got the already roasted and shelled pistachios at Trader Joe's.-bb
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.