About a month ago, while we were sitting in our hotel room, looking through brochures about Yellowknife, trying to decide what to do the next day I asked my husband a question.
“Can we go around the world?”
He answered yes (he really is perfect!) and when I said “Great! Can we start next week?” he looked a tad confused. I explained what I meant, that it would be fun to pick a country and cook a meal from its cuisine. He thought it was a good idea and when I asked where he wanted us to “go” first he suggested France. He was really sweet about the whole idea, and the fact that for the next hour he got peace to read while I researched recipes definitely was a bonus for him.
For some reason the dessert was the first thing I settled on, if you can count not being able to choose between chocolate mousse and creme brule a decision…
I have my reasons! And not just because they both are so delicious and more-ish and …
Have I ever mentioned that I am diabetic? No? Hmmm… it should have been obvious! I mean its not as though I spend lots of time making cookies and cakes and… Oh! I do.
Anyway, the mousse was a choice because it is just something that seems so french to me, and chocolate is always going to win me points with my husband, who is a chocolate fiend in denial. And the creme brule… well that another post.
Chocolate mousse always seemed to me to be something that people who can make it blasely threw about as “easy” and “simple” and other words designed to make me feel incompetent in the kitchen. So, this was a great excuse to try it out, to see if it was as difficult as I imagined or as easy as these wunderkinds would have me believe.
They were right. I was wrong. I can admit that, I am not ashamed to declare that I have seen the error of my ways.
Seriously, making mousse is really simple! And easy! And other words just like that!
So, if anyone reads this, and you haven’t made mousse, please try it. It really is so easy.
The most complicated part of the whole procedure was finding something to serve it in. We have lived here in Northern Alberta for just under a year, arriving with everything we could stuff into our CR-V on our drive across Canada. So fancy little dishes and serving glasses haven’t had time to grow in our cupboards yet. (They do grow there, don’t they?)
So when we went shopping, a complete expedition as it is over 200kms to the nearest grocery store that sells “fancy stuff” like high cocoa content chocolate, I took time to duck into the thrift store. Champagne glasses for 50 cents each. That will do me!
So, if you happen to have some ramekins or glasses already grown in your cupboards the difficult bit is done!
There are just a few simple ingredients.
Mousse au chocolate
Makes 6 glasses
- 200 gm dark / plain / bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% cocoa solids)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 250 ml double / whipping cream (or creme fraiche)
- 35 gm caster sugar (I used icing sugar as I have never been able to find caster sugar here)
Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, until you can stick your finger in without screaming.
Gently mix in the cream.
Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate.
Whisk the egg whites until very stiff and peaky, then slowly add the sugar a bit at a time, whisking again as each bit is added.
Gently and slowly fold the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, into the chocolate. Be gentle, you want to keep the volume of the eggs as much as possible.
Pour gently into the final bowls or ramekins and put in the fridge for a few hours.
Okay, that final step was hard too…
But, in the interests of public safety I did scrape out the bowl and test it. Just in case.
The rest of our menu for the French leg of our world tour:
Chicken in Orange and Tarragon Sauce
Petit pois (from our garden!!)
Creme Brule and Chocolate Mousse