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 as the birthday/holiday treat in our house. Jan has spent years perfecting the techniques of making my mother’s mousse, but it took her years before she dared to tinker with mom’s recipe. This weekend, I am making Israeli couscous with almonds, Jan decided that chocolate mousse with Amaretto would be a good dessert for my Father’s Day dinner.
Jan’s Chocolate Mousse, the Father’s Day Variation
2 pkg. unflavored gelatin
1 cup cane sugar, separate uses
¼ tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated, separate uses
2 cup Straus whole milk
12 oz. good quality dark chocolate bits
1+ Tbs. Disaronno Amaretto, separate uses
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint Straus whipping cream
1-2 oz. chocolate with salted almonds, shaved
Pinch Flur de sel
1. Mix the gelatin, ½ cup sugar 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 mixture.
Tip: Put the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and refrigerate until needed.
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 Amaretto and vanilla.
5. Chill, in the refrigerator, until the sauce is thickened.
Tip: Jan has found that you should not skimp on this step. Let the mixture cool for a full 30 minutes, until it is completely chilled.
Note: If the mixture is at all warm, the chocolate sauce, meringue, and whipped cream will separate into layers. 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.
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 remaining half cup of sugar into the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.
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.
Tip: Put the bottle of amaretto on the table with a bowl of shaved dark chocolate with almonds and a small cup of Flur de sel, for your diners to pour/sprinkle on top their mousse.
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