Much like crème brûlée, chocolate mousse is very much a restaurant-y dessert—the sort of sweet meal-ender that the majority of the population would not consider attempting at home. Something that tasty surely requires a pastry chef background, right?
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The steps for making chocolate mousse seem fairly straightforward, but there are a lot of small details to keep in mind. For mousse perfection, the chocolate must be smooth and completely melted, the egg whites and sugar should be whipped to a medium peak consistency, and, most importantly, care must be taken when folding the meringue and the chocolate together to avoid deflating the mousse.
What makes a great chocolate mousse? Well, it really depends on your tastes. Some people like a sweet, creamy chocolate mousse that's lighter than air. Others prefer a darker, denser flavor and texture. You can make mousse with milk, white, or dark chocolate, and it's easy to punch up the flavor with espresso, liqueur, sea salt, or any number of spices. We like this classic recipe from Pierre Hermé—and since it's from Hermé, you know it's gonna be bulletproof.
Julia Child's recipe for perfect chocolate mousse calls for two kinds of chocolate, freshly brewed coffee, 4 separated eggs, a splash of dark rum, vanilla extract, plenty of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a garnishing dollop of whipped cream,...