top-secret chocolate mousse

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Last week I subsisted on pâté and Triscuits and chocolate mousse. It was obscene. But it was that kind of week. I also might’ve been just a tiny bit concerned about asteroids and crazy meteor showers and other things that are way beyond my control. Cuckoo, I know. Don’t judge. The good news is I have chocolate mousse for you.

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I mentioned a while back that I had been contemplating chocolate mousse. I finally decided to do something about it. I ended up testing two recipes. The first wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I initially liked the idea of a chocolate mousse recipe that called for egg whites and whipped cream and butter. But it was a bit labor intensive and included a lot of calories that didn’t necessarily need to be there. I felt like I needed to go back to the drawing board.

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Since I was getting together with the boys for dinner on Sunday, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a second recipe. I had a feeling when I stumbled upon Dorie’s top-secret chocolate mousse that the search was over. The recipe only called for a handful of ingredients and was super simple to whip up – I threw it together while catching up with one of the Gregs over bourbon cocktails, and did it all without a mixer.

As always, the Lady Greenspan did not disappoint. The chocolate mousse was rich, intensely chocolate, and perfectly textured – velvety and airy all at once. Totally decadent. It’s definitely a winner in my book. It was the perfect ending to our homemade pasta dinner (more about that later).

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top-secret chocolate mousse 

adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

serves 4

3-1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped

3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature (use the freshest eggs available)

Pinch of salt

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream 

1 teaspoon sugar 

chocolate shavings (optional)

Gently melt the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Using a whisk, stir the eggs into the chocolate one at a time until smooth.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until they start to form peaks. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Continue to beat until the whites are shiny and hold medium-firm peaks. Be careful not to overbeat.

Spoon about one quarter of the whites over the melted chocolate and stir until the mixture is almost smooth. Spoon the rest of the whites into the chocolate mixture, and very carefully fold them in with a large rubber spatula. Be as thorough as you can without overworking the mixture.

Spoon the mousse into a serving bowl or 4 individual bowls. Serve immediately or cover and keep refrigerated until set, about 4 hours.

Beat cream and 1 teaspoon sugar in another medium bowl until peaks form. Spoon whipped cream atop mousse. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

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