This cool, rich, melt-in-your-mouth mousse contains only two ingredients: chocolate and cream. I first made this at culinary school as a filling for a decadent Marquise cake — I’ve been making it ever since, with or without the cake.
I’ve added pear chips and chocolate leaves for textural contrast and height. A thin cookie perched atop the mousse would do the trick, too. When it comes dessert, it’s okay — no, it’s imperative — to show-off. This mousse is rich. I serve it in the smallest containers possible. Shot glasses and sherry glasses are ideal.
Recipe adapted from a white chocolate mousse recipe in Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques.
Originally published in EAT Magazine Nov/Dec 2010 issue.
Serves 8 – 12, depending on the size of the container
■ 18 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate,* chopped
■ 4 cups 35% whipping cream
■ 1 saucepan filled with one inch of barely simmering water
■ large wire whisk
■ 1 dozen sherry or shot glasses
* I use Bernard Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate — 66% cocoa.
■ parchment paper
■ piping bag with plain tip, optional
The key to this mousse is the temperature of the chocolate. It should be completely melted but not too hot. The ideal temperature is 50 degrees Celsius, which is warm, not hot, to the touch. If you have a kitchen thermometer handy, use it.
In a metal bowl that fits over the saucepan of barely simmering water, ensuring that the bowl does not touch the hot water, add the chopped chocolate and 1 cup of whipping cream. Gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is fully melted, but not overly hot.
In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a wire whisk, add the remaining 3 cups of whipping cream. Whisk the cream until it is thickened only. The cream should not be firm enough to hold its shape. When you remove the whisk from the bowl, the cream should drip off in thick beads.
With a whisk close at hand, pour the warm melted chocolate, all at once into the barely whipped cream. Combine with a whisk until the chocolate mousse is uniform in colour. The texture will firm as you combine the chocolate with the cream.
The mixture is now ready to pour into your containers.
If you have a piping bag, pour the mixture into a piping bag; this will help get the mousse into the glasses neatly, without any mess. Managing a piping bag is easy when you use a narrow canister or large-mouthed glass to hold the piping bag in place while you fill it. Simply tuck the narrow end of the bag into the container (tip side down) and roll the large end of the bag over the edge of the container, like a cuff, to hold it in place.
Pipe or spoon the mixture into the glasses and refrigerate until set.
■ 1 firm pear, washed
■ 1 cup sugar
■ 1 cup water
■ lemon zest (white pith removed) from ½ lemon
■ a mandoline or single-blade slicer
■ parchment-lined baking tray.
Preheat oven to 200ºF.
Combine the sugar, water and lemon zest in a small saucepan and heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Slice the pear into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or single-blade slicer/grater.
Using a pastry brush, coat both sides of each pear slice with the sugar-water solution. Place the coated slices on the parchment-lined tray, being careful not to overlap the slices.
The pear chips can be made a few days ahead of time and kept in a covered container.
■ 6 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped into small pieces
■ Small, firm leaves, washed and completely dried
■ a parchment-lined tray
Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl placed over a saucepan filled with one inch of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water. When the chocolate has just melted, dip the cleaned leaves into the chocolate and place on a parchment-lined tray. Try to coat only one side of each leaf with chocolate as this will make it easier to remove. Place the leaves in the refrigerator to firm the chocolate.
Once the chocolate has firmed, carefully peel back the leaf from the chocolate.
To serve the mousse, remove from the refrigerator approximately 20 minutes before serving. Remove the parchment collar and garnish with the pear chip and chocolate leaf just before serving.
Join The Discussion