Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dark Chocolate Mousse with "Spiked" Whipped Cream



Who can resist a little serving of dreamy, lovely chocolate mousse? Even if you are not a chocolate lover, you would still be tempted to dip your spoon once into this light, but satisfying dessert. (This recipe is from celebrity chef Bobby Flay who is professional, but easygoing; I like that about him...)

I would not serve this with any other topping than whipped cream. Both the mousse and the whipped cream complement each other's fluffiness; any other richer, heartier topping (like ice cream or mascarpone cream) would be too much for this delicate dessert.
Spiked whipped cream recipe is from Cuisinart. The "spiked" part is obviously optional...:) Even sugar is optional; you can just have plain whipped cream...

This may sound like a fussy recipe, but once you start making home-made chocolate mousse, you will not want to go back to packaged chocolate mousse from your grocery store's refrigerated section...


Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)

  • 5 1/4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (1/2 of a 11.5 oz. package, about 150 gr.)
  • 14 fl. oz. cold heavy cream (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 3 large pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature (Recommended brand: Davidson's)
  • 1 oz. sugar (about 2 tablespoons)

Directions:

  • Place chocolate chips in a bowl, set over simmering water. Stir chocolate until melted. Turn off the heat and let stand (do not take chocolate bowl away from above the simmering water).
  • In a bowl, beat cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside and hold at room temperature.
  • With an electric mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until firm. (If you are using the same whisk attachment for the cream and the egg whites, you need to clean it, before you start with the egg whites.)
  • Using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the chocolate (or the other way around). When the whites are almost completely incorporated, fold in the whipped cream. (Do this folding process gently to prevent deflating the egg whites and the cream.)
  • Cover the mousse and refrigerate it overnight. Serve in goblets with whipped cream.

Spiked Whipped Cream

Ingredients: (Makes about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier orange liqueur

Directions:
  • Place heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Whip the cream with an electric mixer's whisk on medium to high speed for a few minutes until you see the cream start thickening (start with low speed to prevent cream from splashing, and increase the speed as cream thickens).
  • Add sugar, vanilla and Grand Marnier. Whip until soft peaks form.

Additional points:
  • To melt chocolate, you can use a bain marie or a double boiler; make sure that the bottom of the bowl that contains the chocolate (or the upper section of the double boiler) does not touch the water underneath.
  • To make whipped cream, always start with ice-cold heavy cream. Some chefs put the bowl on a bed of ice to keep the cream inside as cold as possible during whipping. For more info about how to whip cream and what terms like "soft peaks" and "stiff peaks" mean, check out this link.
  • When separating egg whites from yolks, be extra careful not to break the yolks. The egg whites do not get whipped, if there's even a tiny bit of egg yolk in them. Better yet, separate your eggs one by one into a separate ramekin to make sure the white and the yolk are not mixed; then transfer them into the egg whites bowl.
  • Whip the egg whites in either a glass or a metal bowl; not a plastic one. And you need a clean whisk.
  • "Whipping egg whites until firm" means that you should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head and the stiff egg whites would not move..:) (Don't over-beat from that point on or the egg whites will destabilize.)
  • Since this recipe calls for raw eggs, I strongly recommend using pasteurized eggs, if you can find them. If you can't, you may try to use an egg white substitute (like Eggbeaters); the result may come out a bit different, though.

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