Thursday, February 16, 2012

chocolate mousse: take 1

I once told my Nana I thought she wouldn't make a very good parent. She loves to remind me of this.

I was about four years old at the time. I scoffed at her parenting skills one night when she was babysitting me and my brothers. I told her this and then immediately felt bad and cried for forgiveness. Apparently, between sobs, I told her that the container of whipped cream I had eaten earlier (without permission) had "turned me wild."

I pretty much think of this every time I make whipped cream.

Some people claim that tequila makes them want to fight. Some people credit Jagermeister. But for me, apparently whipped topping does it. Who knew.

Case in point: I made Irish Cream-spiked whipped cream the other night.

I used it to top my first attempt at dark chocolate mousse.


This mousse was rich, chocolaty and had a hint of espresso. The texture was a bit dry for my liking, it turned out like the filling of a chocolate truffle. It gives me an excuse to play in the kitchen and try different techniques.




I may have gone back for seconds on the whipped cream. And I may have gotten into an argument shortly thereafter. Maybe my four-year-old self wasn't just blaming her attitude on the Cool Whip. Maybe the two are in fact connected.

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and Spiked Whipped Cream
Stuff:
(for the mousse)
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Irish cream
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1 tablespoon sugar
1 c (plus 2 tablespoons) cream
2 eggs separated
1/8th teaspoon salt

(for the whipped cream)
1/2 c heavy cream
1/8 c sugar
Irish cream to taste

How-to:
1. Over a double boiler, melt together chocolate, cocoa, espresso, water and Irish cream and whisk until smooth
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, half of sugar and salt until ribbon stage (about 30-40 seconds); pour chocolate mixture into egg mixture and allow to cool for 5 minutes
3. Ina mixer, whip egg whites until foamy, add remaining sugar then beat until glossy peaks are achieved
4. Whip cream (1 c plus 2 tablespoons) to soft peaks and fold into chocolate
5. Pipe into serving dishes and chill for at least two hours
6. For topping: Whip cream, sugar and Irish cream to desired consistency. Garnish chilled mousse with whipped cream and dust with cocoa.
4. Fold 1/4 egg whites into chocolate gently; add remaining whites

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