Mousse au Chocolat

A couple of years I met a Belgian lady that makes the best chocolate mousse on the planet. She would always bring it in a large bowl to potlucks to the envy and pleasure of everyone! 🙂 Considering that she had not only a reputation to uphold, but out of respect to her heritage, this chocolate mousse was always made with the very best Belgian chocolate. Now you can imagine how good it is! 🙂 Needless to say, everyone wants(ed) the recipe. All I did was politely ask and I got it! Everyone else couldn’t believe it! Score!

I mean, it is no big secret. This recipe exists elsewhere too. But hers is fail proof, if you do everything right. 🙂 It is made out of egg whites, chocolate (and sugar). If you do not like eating raw eggs, this is not for you. I expressed my opinions on this matter and I won’t bother you any more. There is no need for creams. The egg whites make the mousse airy and creamy. There is no need for the sleek heaviness of cream. Seriously. All until then the chocolate mousse I have had, had cream and I was keeping it for special occasions, well because, duh, heavy cream! No more! This is protein and dark chocolate, which is even recommended when dieting! Do I need to convince you any further?

When it comes to the sugar, I think that is up to you. If you are using a 70% chocolate, as you should, then you would add 1 tbsp sugar. If you are using chocolate that is slightly sweeter (I now had a 65% chocolate) use less sugar. I wouldn’t use chocolate with a higher cocoa content. I like it as it is, and here, I would not only need to put more sugar, but I fear it might create folding in problems, because it has so much cocoa. If you like it sugar free, then don’t use any. Please don’t use artificial sweeteners. Just don’t. 1 tsp of sugar won’t kill you.

Since this is a hit everywhere, I was once asked to do this for 14 people. Since the recipe is 1 egg white per person, then that means 14 egg whites!!!! Would you want to be left with 14 egg yolks?! So, we used pasteurised egg whites from a carton. NEVER DO THIS! I would never, but I was asked to do this for someone else, so I obliged. Not only don’t they beat to stiff peaks, I find the carton eggs a consumerist bulk supermarkets’ abomination. I should not tell you that it failed. Well, I shouldn’t say it failed; the flavour was there, but the presentation and texture was a flop. I have not done it with 14 real egg whites, so I personally can’t tell you how it would work out. The Belgian lady did it! But then, they are born with a chocolate mousse spoon in one hand and a waffle in the other, so you can’t match with them.

Flavourings: you can add anything – sprinkle fleur de sel on top, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger etc as long as it is not wet. If it is, it’ll dilute the egg whites almost and ruin the foam. I think. I like it pure, if I feel like something else, then add either some good salt or orange zest.

This is my go-to recipe for leftover egg whites and I absolutely love it. I am forever grateful to her for sharing it with me. To me, this is the alpha and omega of desserts. Everything begins and ends here. Simple, pure, absolute pleasure. The simplest things are always the best. You think you are craving something elaborate, whereas all you are craving is something that will awaken all the taste buds and make your soul explode in pleasure.

This is the original recipe. The ingredients listed are for 1 person. You can then multiply accordingly.

Ingredients:

1 egg white

25 gr 70% really good chocolate

1 tbsp sugar

Preparation:

1. Beat the egg white in a clean dry bowl either with a whisk (hello elbow grease) or with a mixer. Make sure everything is clean and dry. To check if you have created stiff peaks, tilt the bowl upside down. If you see it start to slide down the sides, beat a bit more. Do this only if you are sure you are pretty close or have already achieved the stiff peaks. Or you’ll be scraping it off your counter.

can you believe that this is all it takes?!

2. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. When done, take it out of the bain marie and let it cool a bit.

3. When the egg whites are done, fold in gently the 1 tbsp of sugar. A couple of swoops should be enough.

4. Start folding in the melted chocolate with a spatula. Now, it won’t look like much at the beginning, but keep folding gently, but don’t stop. You don’t want the chocolate to be too hot and the egg white too cold. It might cause the chocolate to cool fast and create little grains. As you keep folding, the egg whites won’t be as high any more, but the airiness would still be there and will get darker as the chocolate incorporates.

5. Transfer to a clean bowl or the one you’ll be serving it in, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours.

I added a bit of orange zest today – can’t wait for it to cool!

In a few hours, you will get to see how heaven feels like! 🙂

P.S. I have read somewhere that depending on what the humidity is in the area where you are making this, it might cause the mousse to fail. I have made this in the absolute drenching heat of N. American summer and maybe I wanted it too badly that I never noticed it being any different than when I make it in winter or elsewhere.

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