Well, the week of birthday celebrations was in full swing last night with a Fancy Tuna Dinner and for dessert — chocolate mousse. I saw Alton Brown make this last week on Good Eats and well, here it is. I am easily impressionable like that.
Here is his recipe (my comments in italics).
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
3 ounces espresso or strong coffee (I used instant espresso powder dissolved in 3 oz. of boiling water)
1 tablespoon dark rum
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin
Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in the freezer. In the top of a double boiler — I used a heavy glass pyrex bowl over a pot of simmering water — combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature. I just let it cool about 15-20 minutes.
Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to “bloom” for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.
This took a while to melt. I stood there holding the 1-cup metal measuring cup for quite a while. Swirl. Swirl. Stir with a fork. Swirl. Finally it looked all melted and dissolved. As I poured it into the chocolate, I noticed the bottom had a few remaining gelatin lumps.
Back to the stovetop. Swirl. Swirl. Swirl.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two batches. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.
Spoon into bowls or martini glasses (I used wine glasses), cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fruit and serve.
One of the nice things about living in Oregon is that I was able to wander out the back door and come back with four raspberries and four Morrocan mint sprigs from the yard!
Next, I want to try this with white chocolate chips and perhaps — now wait for it — some chamomile tea (or maybe even green tea) instead of the espresso and maybe some orange liqueur instead of the rum. That sounds kind of good.
Coming soon (as in hopefully tomorrow and Friday respectively) a review of Jam on Hawthorne and a recipe for Coconut/Shrimp Soup with Butternut Squash.