November 30, 2009

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...

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.


  1. Oh I love that stuff. Love the mock version of cappucino idea. And wow all those dinner treats?? Sounds like a good feast.

  2. Love the idea of the mousse masquerading as a cappucino.

    Congratulations to Roberto's parents. 38 years is quite a milestone.

  3. Very very nice and I would have loved to indulge in an arancini too!

  4. I know just the biscotti to dip in this..not that it need any embelishment.
    By the way I will make you two tins if you come to Rome, really.
    I adore chocolate mousse so I will note this recipe down in pencil (no computer bookmarking for something as good as this).
    Lunch sounds good, those Italian eh, they know a thing or two about eating.

  5. What a fabulous way to celebrate.

  6. I making my list of candidates for dessert for our NYE dinner party. This is now officially on the list!

  7. was a feast. Everyone ate every last bit.

    Julie...Roberto is the genius behind the mousse masquerade. He's so clever. :)

    denise...the arancini were amazing. We actually managed to have one leftover, but it didn't last long.

    rachel...I know just the biscotti too. As soon as I saw your post I smiled because I said to Roberto Sunday night that all our little cups of mousse needed was a little something on the side. Synchronicity...

    Wendi...we prepped for two days and ate everything...well...we ate everything terribly fast. :)

    Beth...wonderful! It's a lifesaver when you can make things ahead of time. That's why we'll be making this again and again.

  8. I've never made a choco mouse. Very inspiring!

  9. Love how you serve it in a cappucino mug.

  10. I love chocolate mousse and yours sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. That looks gorgeous! I've never attempted to make chocolate mousse and I know they're difficult to perfect. You make me want to finally try it!

  12. nice idea!
    I might add some granulated coffee in the chocolate mix and top the cream with one coffee bean

  13. redmenace...bring yourself to make it soon. It's worth it!

    Ellie...the tiny mug is the perfect portion...although it does leave you wanting just a bit more.

    Karine...thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

    Mrs. B...I went into the process quite frightened, which probably helped...a more delicate hand with everything made for a nice fluffy, lovely mousse.

    Amelia PS...I love the idea of adding coffee and bean.


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