Dark Chocolate Mousse
When I got married many years ago, cooking for me basically meant making toast, frying an egg, or making one of two dishes: a simple olive oil and garlic pasta or a vegetable stir fry, always with the same vegetables. Essentially, I didn’t cook. I loved to eat, but I didn’t know how to cook. So to help me out, my dear sweet mother decided to put some of her classic recipes to paper, usually handwritten, sometimes typed. In the margins, she would add special notes to me; opinions, “secret” tips, and encouragement.
This post is my mother’s chocolate mousse recipe which she wrote out for me all those years ago. The edges of the yellowed paper are bent, there are a few smudges of chocolate on it, probably years old, and the print is tiny and difficult to read. In the margins, she wrote,
“This is always a big hit. You have to encourage people to try it, but then you can’t keep them away from it. Easy, prepare ahead, delicious.”
This is her original recipe, to which I’ve added marshmallows because my kids love it and say it tastes like Rocky Road ice-cream.
I believe that one of the most important things that we show our children is a love for life, and food is a huge part of that. My mother taught me two things regarding food. First, she showed me how to appreciate food– the color, flavor, texture, and freshness. Also, that quality was more important than quantity, with the exception of blueberry pie. Then it’s quantity. And second, how to cook food. To this day, she continues to teach me. I hope to pass that love and joy and knowledge on to my children. Thank you, Mom.
And as a little bonus, a friend recently mentioned to me how much he loved Orange Chocolate Mousse, which I also think is exquisite, so I added a variation for that in the Notes. Yum yum yum.
- 1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 1 package (6 oz / 450g) semisweet chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 unsalted almonds, toasted
- a handfull of mini marshmallows
Toast the almonds by placing them in a small pan over a low heat, tossing, for a few minutes. Set aside.
Pour the cream into a food processor and process for about 1 minute, until thick. Remove the cream to a bowl and set aside.
- Pour the chocolate bits into the food processor and process for about 20 seconds, until you have small chunks. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks and process for a few more seconds.
- Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan over a low heat and bring to a boil. Boil gently without stirring for a few minutes only. You will know it’s ready when you can pick some up with a spoon and a continuous string forms, rather than drips. The string only appears for a second, so you have to look carefully. When you see the string, which will be about 6 inches long, remove from the heat immediately.
- Pour the sugar water into the top of the food processor while it is running. Continue processing until all the sugar water is added, then add the toasted almonds. Process a few more seconds so that the almonds are coarsely chopped.
- Fold the chocolate mixture and marshmallows gently into the cream with a rubber scraper. Do this carefully, making sure not to over-stir. If you like, sprinkle some more almonds on top and freeze, uncovered.
- About 2 hours before serving, place the mousse in the fridge to soften a bit.
Orange Chocolate Mousse: Eliminate the marshmallows, almonds, and vanilla extract. In step 3, add 1/2 tsp orange zest and 1 1/2 Tbsp orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Garnish with whipped cream and orange zest to serve.
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