Monday, July 26, 2010

Chocolate Mousse

During the hazy days of summer, when my motivation is somewhat crippled between long, hot shifts in the kitchen and the unyielding heat, I tend towards creating very simplistic desserts in my own kitchen.

This is not a foreign feeling to me, the desire for my desserts to be quick, but incredibly tasty.  After moving to Manhattan, I lived in an apartment for over a year with absolutely no oven.  As much as I detested that period, looking back, it forced me to try tons of recipes that did not require the usage of any oven: candies, custards and frozen treats.

This recipe for chocolate mousse is one of my favorite discoveries of that period.  Since my first creation of this mousse, I have tweaked the recipe, ever so slightly, to include the usage of Maker's Mark, my favorite bourbon.  With just the slightest undertones of vanilla, the bourbon provides an incredible lushness to this dessert.

Serve with freshly whipped, slightly sweetened cream and let the swooning begin.

Chocolate Mousse
slightly adapted from David Lebovitz
makes 6 to 8 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Guittard 72%
6 ounces unsalted butter, cubbed
1/4 cup brewed coffee
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Maker's Mark
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Preparation Instructions
Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, Maker's Mark and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise.

Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peak (whites will appear frothy and just begin to hold their shape).  Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.

Gently, fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated.

Transfer the mousse into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

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