For me Claudia’s Chocolate Mousse is the mousse by which all others are judged. It is however, not a health food. It has replaced cakes in our house as the holiday treat. Jan has spent years perfecting the techniques of making mousse, but it took her years before she dared to tinker with mom’s recipe.
Son-in-law, Chris, is on the Atkins diet so she thought she would try to make a variation with as little sugar as possible. There is still a little sugar in the chocolate, but she added no more. For the sugar eaters, she made a Drambuie butterscotch sauce to pour over the mouse. It also seemed like a good idea to sprinkle a pinch of fleur de sel on top.
Note: Just a tough of salt will make things taste sweeter. Just do not put so much on that it tastes salty.
If it is available to you use slow pasteurized milk. Out local Straus milk products are not homogenized and they are pasteurized in the old fashioned way. This long and slow process does not change the flavor of the milk. The quick industrial processes used on most of the milk products you find in the store is noticeably different.
Note: How much you fold the mix is a delicate operation. If you stir or fold the mix too much you will knock the air out of the egg whites and the whipped cream. If you do not fold the mix enough the denser chocolate mixture will partially separate from the whip cream. Instead of a uniform creamy mousse, you will end up with a slightly dense pudding layer and a fluffy creamy layer on top. This separation is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are serving the mousse in individual bowls, you get two chocolaty experiences for the price of one, but it is not the true mousse.
Jan’s Low Sugar Chocolate Mousse
2 pkg. unflavored gelatin
¼ tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated, separate uses
2 cup Straus whole milk
12 oz. good quality dark chocolate bits
1 Tbs. Drambuie
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 pint Straus whipping cream
(Optional) ½ cup Jan’s Drambuie Butterscotch Sauce
(Optional) ¼ tsp. fleur de sel
1. Mix the gelatin and the salt thoroughly in the top of a double boiler.
Tip: If you do not have a D.B. a metal mixing bowl over a pot of water works fine.
2. Beat together the egg yolks and milk and add them to the gelatin.
3. Add the chocolate bits and cook over the boiling water, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely melted and well blended.
4. Remove the chocolate from the heat, stir in the Drambuie and vanilla.
5. Chill, in the refrigerator, until the sauce is thickened.
6. In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.
Tip: Be sure not to get any egg yolk or water in your egg whites or they will not form the meringue properly.
7. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you have stiff peaks.
Tip: The cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites. The ratio is generally one quarter of a teaspoon cream of tartar for each egg white.
8. Fold the meringue into the chocolate mix.
Tip: Folding is not the same as stirring. To fold you take a spatula and gently scoop the mix from the bottom, bring it up and lay it in the top. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until the mix is well blended.
9. Whip the cream in a separate bowl and fold it into the mix.
Tip: You may wash and dry the meringue bowl to limit the number of bowls you use.
Note: You may reserve some of the whipped cream to put on top of the mouse as a garnish.
10. At this point you may spoon the mouse into individual serving cups or into a decorative serving bowl.
Note: We use a clear glass, floral, salad bowl.
11. Set the mouse, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.
Tip: Do not disturb the mousse once it has started to set.
12. Chill until firm.
13. Serve cold or at room temperature.