From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.
This week, we’re sharing a recipe for chocolate mousse.
French for “foam”, mousse is a light and airy mixture made with whipped egg whites or cream. It can be made savory when mixed with things like salmon and chicken liver; or sweet when mixed with fruit or chocolate. Such is the case with “mousse au chocolat” – or chocolate mousse, where sugar, chocolate, and sometimes butter or egg yolk are incorporated into the egg white/cream mixture to make a lusciously silky and rich dessert.
Though the exact origins are unclear, mousse is thought to date back to 18th century France, when savory mousse dishes were popular. Sweet versions of the foam didn’t exist until the mid to late 1800s.
In America, recipes for chocolate mousse dates back to the 1890s, though they were more like chocolate-pudding due to the lack of electric mixers for whipping (those didn’t come around until 1930s). Thankfully, there’s no need to whip your cream or egg whites by hand today.
This recipe, from sweet genius and creator of the cronut Dominique Ansel, is extra creamy thanks to the incorporation of whole milk and whipped cream.
Dominique Ansel’s Extra-Creamy Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients serves 10 to 12
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate*, preferably 70 percent, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
2 cups cold heavy cream
Special equipment: candy thermometer
*Tip: Buy the good stuff (it’ll be worth it)
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 250° on a candy thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, gradually pour in the hot syrup in a steady stream and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the meringue with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the milk just to a simmer. Pour the milk over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth and let cool.
*Makes sure the chocolate is fully melted – no one likes a chunky mousse!
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In a bowl, beat the cream to soft, loose peaks. Reserve 1/2 cup of the whipped cream for serving.
Scoop half of the meringue into a bowl (reserve the rest for another use). Whisk in the remaining whipped cream.
Warm the chocolate mixture in a bowl set over a pan of ?simmering water, stirring, until just melted. Pour the chocolate over the meringue and quickly (but gently) fold it in. Spoon the mousse into glasses, swirl in the reserved whipped cream and serve.
To make ahead: The meringue can be refrigerated overnight. The chocolate can stand at room temperature overnight, covered with plastic wrap.