Mousse, French for foam, is a prepared dish that is whipped to incorporate air bubbles. The final product is light and fluffy, though some are creamy and thick. Mousses may be savory or sweet and they been around a long time – since the 1700s.
What about the chocolate?
Though there have been a few chocolate whipped “foams” in history, most people credit the 19th-century painter (and cook) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec for the chocolate version. Perhaps, because it was highly popularized during that time. He gave it the name mayonnaise de chocolat. Fortunately, that name didn’t stick.
The basic chocolate mousse consists of whipped egg whites or whipped cream and melted chocolate. However, there is a vast variety of recipes that include things like coffee, mint, spices, liqueurs, and even chocolate chips.
No matter how you make it, use a fine quality chocolate to achieve the best flavor. It’s also good to note that the higher percentage of cocoa solids the denser your final product will be.
Here is the classic Betty Crocker recipe. It has never failed.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken up (or 1 cup chips)
- 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Beat egg yolks in a bowl with a mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in the sugar. Set aside. Heat the 1 cup whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Gradually whisk in half of the hot whipping cream into egg yolk mixture. Then stir it all back into hot cream in the saucepan. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, but do not boil. Stir in chocolate until melted. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled. Beat the 1-1/2 cups whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream. Spoon into serving bowls. Keep refrigerated.
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.