I usually post original recipes, but sometimes even a great recipe from someone else needs a little more explanation. NYER2LONDON recently commented that she made the same chocolate mousse from Julia Child's "Way to Cook" that I did and had some problems combining the ingredients. I reviewed the recipe on page 451 of the soft cover edition, and decided it needed a bit more explanation than Julia gave in the book. Towards this end, I am being very specific on the types of bowls used, The mixing method, etc. as it seems to play a role in how the final product looks. The only difference in ingredients between my recipe and the Julia recipe is that I used normal table sugar and not "instant" sugar. The recipe is also doubled in size. To make this recipe, you really need a lot of cookware, bowls and gadgets in your kitchen.
16 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (this tastes better than sweet)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup strong coffee (I used Zabar's house blend this time, but prefer Mocha in general)
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED
electric hand mixer (this is key)
2 bowls for separated egg whites/yolks
metal bowl for mixing whipped cream
larger bowl that the metal bowl can fit in to put ice
really large bowl for egg whites that will eventually hold everything
There are actually several steps that need to be done separately and then everything is combined.
The first step is to seperate the eggs, make sure the butter is soft and ready, and have the coffee. I believe its worth using hot, fresh coffee.
STEP: Whip the cream. Use the hand mixer. It should be somewhat stiff, but not over whipped. Put the cream in a metal bowl that is inside an ice filled regular bowl.
STEP: Melt the chocolate in the double boiler. Add the coffee. Add the butter, and then add the egg yolks. Julia says you should add them one by one, but for those of us who break the yolks, by the spoonful works just fine. Make sure everything is well mixed and silky smooth. Let this simmer. If you want, put a thermometer in and make sure its over 160 degrees for a bit. This will kill the bacteria.
STEP: beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until they form soft peaks. This seemingly takes forever. Then add the sugar, spoonful by spoonful. Keep beating until stiff peaks are formed. Despite beating and beating, I never really get those stiff peaks but I do come close. I think that doing this step successfully is the key to this recipe.
FINAL STEP: Add the chocolate mix to the egg whites. Use the whisk. (NOT IN THE RECIPE BUT...you can do this over a bit of heat and make sure the entire mixture goes to 160 degrees for a bit if you are worried about bacteria). When its pretty combined looking, add the whipped cream. Use the whisk to fully combine everything. Place in ramekins, coffee cups, etc. and cover with plastic wrap. Its best to let it chill for many hours, and I usually make this the night before I serve it. Add whipped cream if you want.