38 Years Chocolate Mousse
Eggs, cream, sugar...chocolate. Mousse.
It was a rather manic Saturday morning, in my head. Dead bananas on the counter top. Frozen brownies. A cake dome, empty. Sunday we were to cook dinner, an anniversary dinner. Roberto's parents, 38 years.
Caffeinated coffee makes them nervous. Sweet tooth...not really. It had to be light in body, dense in flavor, and ultimately just a taste.
I found a recipe for chocolate mousse in Joy of Cooking. Roberto had the idea to put the mousse into espresso mugs. We'd whip some cream for the top and sprinkle with cocoa powder. A cappuccino, if you like.
My memory tells me that I prepped all of the ingredients, one by one. Grouped. The first group included 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. I had to melt all of this, double boiler like. This was then set aside to cool while I invested much elbow grease (with the help of Roberto) to group two...3 egg yolks...this is where it gets blurry...I know there was a bit of water and sugar. We had to whisk this vigorously, double boiler like, until, as the recipe states '...the consistency of marshmallow sauce'. We both had no clue as to what a marshmallow sauce consistency-wise might be. Instinct ultimately dictated. Sort of thick, but not overly.
I whisked the egg yolk mixture in with the melted chocolate mixture (group two to group one—if you're following along).
At this point, and with much elbow relief, I enlisted the help of KitchenAid. Group three, 3 room temperature egg whites whipped until soft peaks. The addition of 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter. Not one to use cream of tarter very often, needless to say it was expired. November 2008. However, we did use it and it appeared to be in fine working order. 1/4 cup sugar was added gradually as the whipping arm further peaked the egg whites into condition.
Group three was then added to the combined groups of one and two...folded, ever so gently.
A quick wash and rinse of the bowl and whisk attachment. In went group four, 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream. Whipped to within an inch, just to that point of creamy perfection.
Group four was then added to the combined groups of one, two and three...folded, ever so gently.
With a ziplock baggy, filled with chocolate mousse, the tip cut off, Roberto piped clouds into waiting espresso cups which were then transferred to the fridge to chill overnight.
The next day, after a feast of raw oysters on the half shell, arancini, olives and cheese...baked ziti (yes, more baked pasta)...followed up with tilapia filets, homemade french fries (fish and chips) and a mixed green salad, we enjoyed our mock mousse cappuccino's alongside our ever so real espresso's.
It was such a treat. One with which we cannot wait to repeat for more friends and family over the holiday season.
In retrospect I think group two included 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon sugar to the 3 egg yolks...sometimes I feel as if I'm dredging the bottom of the ocean, 20 thousand feet down. I can see what I used, but it's a bit murky and cluttered with bits of this and that.
However, I did enjoy this exercise. Recall. Although, not as much as eating the finished product.
Later...Turns out it was 3 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons sugar.