A delcious and easy french dessert recipe, this brandy spiked vegetarian Chocolate Mousse is an indulgent dessert that’s perfect for a party.
Its the final countdown to Christmas! Are you all relaxed and prepared? Or are you like me and madly wrapping presents, realising you forgot to get someone that last gift and trying desperately to remember everything for your food shopping list? I need help…. And, perhaps, a holiday.
So let me forget the festive madness for a second and let’s talk about this chocolate mousse.
Firstly, it’s so unbelievably chocolatey, I am totally overdosing on chocolate right now, but I really don’t care. Chocolate makes everything better. Secondly, you’ll be surprised at just how easy this is to make. I mean, let’s face it, no one wants to make hard work in the kitchen at Christmas. The good news is that this delicious thing doesn’t need to be hard work.
The Secret to Making the Best Chocolate Mousse
Mousse au Chocolat should be airy, full of bubbles and not flat, hence why it is called “Mousse”. In French, mousse means froth, foam or lather. So bear this in mind. A proper, French chocolate mousse needs to be fluffy and light.
The key to making your chocolate mousse light and airy is down to the whipping and folding technique you use.
When you whip cream and eggs you introduce air into the mix, these form lots of little bubbles in the ingredients. There is a knack to getting this just right, you don’t want to over-whip. Whipping egg whites past the point of achieving stiff peaks, will break down the protein matrix and cause them to collapse. Over whipping cream can cause it to separate into fat and liquids which will give a grainy texture to the chocolate mousse as a result.
The egg yolk and sugar mixture should become quite thick and creamy as you whip it.
Your cream needs to be whisked until you feel the mixture thickening, then stop mixing at this point.
Your egg whites should be whipped until they form stiff peaks. Stiff peaks means that when you lift your whisk up, the peaks that form on top of the egg, remain there and hold their shape.
So, now you have your whipping skills mastered for this recipe, you’ll need to keep all of those bubbles that you have created, in the mix. This simply requires gentle folding, preferably by hand, using a spatula, so you can control just how much you agitate the mixture. Don’t over-fold or handle the chocolate mousse mixture too much, as it will burst the bubbles and your mousse will collapse. Gently fold in the egg whites just to the point where everything is mixed together, then decant it slowly into the individual serving bowls before placing it in the fridge immediately to chill, will ensure that you have the best result you can achieve.
Is it Safe to Use Raw Eggs in this Dessert?
Many desserts around the world contain raw eggs and there’s a chance that you’ve probably eaten them at some point. Whilst there is a very small salmonella risk when consuming raw eggs, this is extremely rare. If you are pregnant, immuno-compromised or infirm you should always take extra care and raw or undercooked eggs are not recommended for these groups.
To minimise risk of contamination, it is important to obtain your eggs from a reliable, high quality source and use the freshest eggs possible. If you are concerned, or in a high risk group you can use pasteurised eggs for this recipe.
Tips and Guidance
If you’re not a fan of brandy or prefer an alcohol-free chocolate mousse, you can leave it out and use water in its place instead.
When you whip your egg whites make sure you have properly separated them from the yolks and that your whipping bowl is completely clean and dry. Egg whites that are contaminated with a source of fat, such as the yolk or any residue in the bowl from other ingredients will prevent them from stiffening properly and reduce them to a watery mass that refuses to be whipped.
I recommend a high quality plain chocolate for this mousse au chocolat recipe with around a 70% cocoa content. However a lower cocoa percentage can also be used should you need to.
Due to the way it is prepared I don’t recommend freezing this chocolate mousse. It is best enjoyed chilled from the refrigerator where it can be stored for 2 days.
If you don’t wish to use raw egg in this dessert, you can substitute it for pasteurised eggs instead.
Mousse Au Chocolat (Plain Chocolate Mousse)
- 250 g Plain Dark Chocolate
- 4 tbsp Brandy
- 5 Eggs separated
- 100 g Caster Sugar
- 150 ml Double Cream
- Melt the chocolate and brandy together over a low heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
- Whip the double cream in a separate bowl until it thickens. Add to the chocolate.
- Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Carefully fold into the chocolate mixture to ensure the air stays in them.
- Place your mousse into small serving bowls.
- Chill the mousse for 2-3 hours until it has set.
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