I had some cream I wanted to use up, and I’ve had chocolate mousse on the brain lately, so I turned to Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food.
The recipe is unbelievably simple, and even more so when you cheat the way I did and melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave instead of in a double boiler. You do have to clean two mixing bowls, but it is so worth it!
One more thing: this recipe calls for three raw eggs, which I’m totally okay with. I don’t let the kids have raw eggs yet, seeing as they’re so young. But I use eggs that I’ve just purchased from Trader Joe’s, and the best by date is always at least three weeks off, so I feel the eggs are really very fresh and fine for us adults. However, if the safety of your eggs concerns you, find another recipe. It’s not worth risking your health!
Chocolate Mousse (adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (the original recipe calls for bittersweet or semisweet, but I say use whatever you like best)
3 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium or large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Microwave on medium power for 30 to 50 seconds (depending on the strength of your microwave and the size of the chocolate pieces). Stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Beat in the egg yolks with a whisk. Refrigerate.
2. Beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons sugar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.
3. Stir about 1/2 cup of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites. Fold in the cream. (Bittman doesn’t say anything about this, but my personal preference is to end up with streaks of white than risk deflating the mousse by overmixing to get a uniform color.) Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serve within one to two days.