Eggs guaranteed salmonella free are always available in Budapest grocery stores. I can vouch for it—and also for their availability on the shelves of supermarkets in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso). In Ouaga they are flown in from France and have stamped on their brown shells a little red mark guaranteeing their safety for using them to make anything requiring raw eggs. In this landlocked sub-Saharan country, they are priced as a luxury item, sold individually and carried home carefully.
But in some other locations the eggs may be of less reliable quality and therefore certain things–like homemade mayonnaise–are better left unmade. Mousse au chocolat, however, need never be foregone, no matter what your location, with this recipe because the yolks in them are cooked. This is no ‘make-do’ version of the dessert, however. Even when there is an option of making a mousse with raw eggs–and a plethora of recipes for it use uncooked egg whites–for taste and texture, this Mousse au chocolat still is my preferred one.
Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.
A Timing Note: The custard mixture cools at room temperature before being folded into the whipped cream. The mousse must chill for 6 hours and it is a good idea–though not essential– to let it stand for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.
- 2 cups of Heavy Cream
- 4 large Egg Yolks
- 3 Tablespoons of Sugar
- a pinch of Salt
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
- 7 Ounces of chopped Dark Chocolate (not unsweetened)
- a Double Boiler or homemade Bain-Marie: the Bain-Marie is made out of a pot partially filled with water and a heatproof bowl that will fit in the rim of the pot without touching its bottom. Ideally, the water in the pot should not touch the bottom of the bowl…but if it does…it will be alright. (A photo of a homemade Bain-Marie is here in this previous diplomatickitchen post.)
- a Candy or Deep-Fry Thermometer
- a Whisk
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- an Electric Mixer, standing or hand
- a Spatula
- Tall Parfait Glasses are pretty for 1-cup servings…1/2 cup-size Ramekins or Dessert Bowls look well for the 1/2-cup size desserts.
1. In the top part of the double boiler or the bowl of the homemade bain-marie, whisk together 3/4 cup of the cream, the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt.
2. Hook the thermometer on the side of the bowl and cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. The mixture will become foamy and a thin yellow coating of custard will begin to cling to the sides of the bowl. At this point, the thermometer will register between 150 F and 160 F and the custard is done.
3. Pour the custard into a bowl, stir in the vanilla and set the custard aside.
4. Rinse out the top of the double boiler or bowl of the bain-marie and put the chocolate in it. Place the double boiler or bain-marie back on the burner, over medium heat, and melt the chocolate, stirring.
5. Whisk the hot melted chocolate into the custard. Set it aside to cool at room temperature for, perhaps 30 minutes.
6. Beat the remaining 1 and 1/4 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks and doesn’t slide up the sides of the upturned bowl.
7. Fold a dollop of the whipped cream into the custard to lighten the mixture, then fold the custard–gently and thoroughly– into the remaining cream.
8. Divide the mousse among dessert glasses or ramekins. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap and chill them for at least 6 hours. It’s preferable to let the dessert stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften a bit. However, if time constraints or forgetfulness prevail, serve the mousse straight from the refrigerator and all will still be well. Any extra servings keep just fine for several days refrigerated.
A Note: Mousse au chocolat is the Dessert Course of the Dinner Menu: Frolicking Wednesday ~ a Bistro cum Vendéglő Evening at Home. It is based on a recipe from the October 2002 issue of Gourmet.
An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2013