Classic French Chocolate Mousse
I have failed to make chocolate mousse so many times to the point I thought it was a complicated dessert to pull off. Most of my past attempts always ended up in some sort of chocolate soup covered by a thin mousse layer. Recently, I decided to try again, being more precise with quantities and technique and it was a success! Find the recipe and tips for the perfect French chocolate mousse below.
Serving: 6 to 8 persons
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes
Resting time: Minimum 4 hours in the fridge. The best result will come with an overnight rest in the fridge
50 g of white sugar for egg yolks
80 g of white sugar for the egg whites
200 g of good quality dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa, this is very important for a smooth result and to avoid a pasty chocolate base)
80 grams of butter
A handful of toasted hazelnuts
Step 1 - Separate the yolks from the whites (eggs)
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites in 2 different bowls. Extremely important not to have any of the yolks in your whites!
Step 2 - Melt the chocolate and butter gently
In a regular pot where you wood cook pasta or heat a sauce, bring a 1/3 of its containing capacity of water to a gentle boil.
Cover the pot with a metal bowl where you will place the butter and the chocolate broken into small pieces to melt together. Make sure the water is not boiling too much. This is called "bain-marie" where you basically use the vapor from the boiling water to heat another recipient placed on top of the pot. You could also melt your butter and chocolate in a microwave in repetitive short heating but be careful not to overcook the chocolate base!
Let the butter and chocolate melt gently, stir occasionally
When the mixture is finally smooth and liquid, set on the side
Never add water to the mixture, it will destroy your chocolate base!
Step 3 - Beat your egg yolks with sugar
Mix vigorously the egg yolks with 50 g of sugar in a bowl. The goal here is to get a thickened and airy pale yellow mixture where all the sugar has been melted and incorporated into the egg yolks.
Personally I like to use an electric hand mixer (with 2 beaters) first on slow speed and increasing the speed after the 1 minute mark. It takes me approximately a total of 3 to 4 minutes to get it where it needs to be.
Step 4 - Mix your chocolate and your egg yolks
Pour the egg yolks you have just been mixing with sugar into the chocolate mixture and mix it.
Step 5 - Mount your egg whites
It's time to mount the egg whites and here again, I use my electric mixer. Very important ! I washed both beaters not to contaminate the egg whites.
Add half of your 80 g of sugar with the egg whites and start beating the eggs on mid power.
Increase the speed after 45 seconds or so and add the rest of the sugar.
Continue beating the egg whites until they are thick and shiny and close to a fresh meringue texture.
Step 6 - Fold the mounted egg whites into your chocolate mixture
Make sure your previously prepared chocolate mixture is still liquid.
Take 1/4th of your mounted egg whites and add them to the chocolate mixture, you don't need to be too gentle here, you can mix both with energy to prepare the chocolate mixture to receive gently the rest of your egg whites.
Add half of the rest of your mounted egg whites and fold the mixture gently, the goal here is not to break the air of the egg whites.
Add the rest of your mounted egg whites and repeat and gentle gesture, folding with a spatula everything together.
Step 7 - Transfer your chocolate mousse into serving recipients
Here is where I screwed up in the past, I kept the chocolate mousse in a large and deep dish. My advice is to pour the chocolate mousse into smaller cups or recipient.
You can use separate ramequins or even tea / coffee cups.
You can also transfer it into some Teflon baking moulds that are not too deep and later on serve it by the spoon which is my favorite way.
Let rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is even better!
Step 8 - Serving
I personally like to serve a big fat spoon of the mousse into a small plate (I like to use a giant spoon bigger than a table spoon).
I would add a small pinch of salt on top.
I would sprinkle the mousse with crushed hazelnuts and chocolate scraps.
You can also top the chocolate mousse with whipped cream and crumbs of biscuits.
Enjoy! Bon appétit!