White and Dark Chocolate Mousse
A creamy and light dessert
Whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar and whip until stiff, but moist peaks form.
Whip 120g of heavy cream.
Melt the dark chocolate over a low heat in a double boiler
Take the chocolate off the heat and add in 35g of heavy cream. Stir until fully incorporated.
Fold in half the meringue.
Fold in half of the whipped cream.
Repeat for the white chocolate.
Total Time ~ 30mins
Yield ~ 780 grams or 2 cups
After the Spanish introduced the rest of the world to cacao the French have been cooking with chocolate since the early 17th century. Mousse is a French word meaning ‘foam’ that originated in the 18th century. The first written record of chocolate mousse in the United States comes from a Food Exposition held at Madison Square Garden in 1892. A recipe from the ‘Housekeeper’s Column’ in the Boston Daily Globe published in 1897 shows us that over the years chocolate mousse has changed from a pudding-like dish to the stiffer version we know of it as. This may be due to the vague nature of what mousse is, also the invention of electric mixers made it more efficient to thoroughly whip egg whites.
Mousse is any soft or creamy dessert made light and fluffy by the addition of whipped cream, beaten egg whites, or both. As you would imagine with a description like that many different desserts easily fall under the category of a mousse. There are so many varieties of mousse that it is impossible to give a rule for them all.
Although this recipe is a quick and simple one I’ll be expanding on the procedure to help give a better understanding as to what is going on, and to answer any questions you may have throughout the making of the dish.
First to help streamline the process you’ll want to go ahead and separate the egg whites to bring them to room temperature. Place the double boiler (pot of water with bowl on top) on a low heat, put the 120 grams of heavy cream along with a bowl, and whisk into the fridge.
You want the egg whites to be at room temperature so that the whip faster and get more volume. When egg whites are whipped the proteins are unfolded (denatured) into two sections: hydrophilic and hydrophobic. The hydrophobic parts arrange themselves around the incorporated air and protect the air bubbles from popping. This is not enough to keep the eggs whipped so sugar is added to dissolve in the water of the eggs to form a viscous liquid that stabilizes the structure. When separating the egg whites take care to not allow any yolk to get mixed in as fat will result in a less stable and lower volume foam.
This is a ‘soft meringue’ or a 1:1 ratio of egg whites and sugar by weight. Being the bulk of what will make this mousse it will be providing virtually all of the stability. Mix the egg whites until soft peaks are formed, then gradually add in the sugar. Dumping in all the sugar at once can cause it deflate. Adding in the sugar too early interferes with the proteins’ ability to unfold, and too late can cause it to not fully dissolve. Mix until stiff, but moist peaks are formed. You can check this by take the whisk out, and flipping it upside down the tip should be similar to a comma.
Take the heavy cream, bowl, and whisk from the fridge and whip the cream. The chilled bowl and whisk will aid in speeding up the process of whipping the cream. Since the meringue is so sweet no sugar is needed in the whipped cream. The whipped cream is to add a more creamy flavor, but also to provide a bit for lift for the mousse.
Melt the 70% dark chocolate in the double boiler. Once fully melted take the chocolate off the heat and add in 35 grams of heavy cream. Stir until it’s completely incorporated and transfer to a bowl.
Take half of the meringue and fold it into the chocolate base; you will lose some volume. Folding is the process of blending a light ingredient into a heavier ingredient by lifting from underneath with a spatula. You want to fold in the meringue first,because the base should still be warm and this will allow the eggs to cook, or coagulate, adding to it’s stability Fold in half of the whipped cream.
Repeat for the 50% white chocolate using the remaining meringue, whipped cream, and 25 grams of heavy cream. Less heavy cream is required, because white chocolate is softer.
Now all that is left to do is place it into a dish, garnish as you see fit, and enjoy.