This is my contribution to you for Valentine’s Day. Next week, on actual Valentine’s Day, I have a great meal planned for Gerrit and I to have at home, and while I thought about making it a bit early and then doing something different for us on Valentine’s Day so that I could share it with you in time for the holiday here, I really want this to be a space where I am sharing with you the things I make in my day to day life, a record of the way these meals and cookies and treats intertwine with the life I am living. I want to be authentic as I possibly can, and so you got my Thanksgiving rolls after Thanksgiving and you’ll get my Valentine’s meal after Valentine’s Day.
But for now I think this chocolate mousse will suffice. Actually it will more than suffice, because this is just pure holy decadence.
From what I’ve heard, chocolate mousse tends to frighten a lot of people as far as making it at home goes. It’s such a fancy treat, a splurge, and so surely it must be complicated to make. Plus there is that whole egg yolk thing where you either have to decide between cooking them gently or eating them raw, neither one of which sounds like the ideal solution. I cook my egg yolks, a least just a bit, because I would rather not have people at my table eat in fear of their health and/or push their dessert away (if it was up to me, I have no fear…I probably eat several cookies worth of dough for every batch of cookies I make, raw eggs and all). But cooking the eggs does not have to be that complicated. They just have to be heated up gently, and the addition of water and sugar helps to keep them from scrambling.
And then there is the whole ice thing and the folding it all into the whipped cream, and it all sounds so complicated. But it’s not. I promise. Whip some cream up. Melt some chocolate. Gently cook some egg yolks without scrambling them (the only even slightly complicated step). Combine the chocolate and eggs and stir it on top of some ice to help it cool down quickly. And then fold it into the whipped cream.
If I can give you a brief recipe summary in five sentences, I promise it is not that complicated and you’ll wonder, as I do, why you don’t make this more often. There is just a tiny bit left in the bowl from having my parents over for dinner last night, and I am working hard to resist the temptation so that Gerrit and I can scrape the bottom of the bowl together this evening. But I just want a spoonful of that light fluffy creamy chocolate. I’m thinking another batch might be in order soon.
So what I’m saying is this: make a treat for yourself, and/or your family. Show them how much you care. I think chocolate always works, especially in a form straight from heaven.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Wait Time: 2 hours
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups (8 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or other good chocolate, chopped)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1. Begin by whipping the cream. Pour cold whipping cream into a large bowl, and use an electric mixer to beat it. Start out at slow speed, gradually increasing the speed as the cream begins to thicken. Beat until stiff peaks form. Then cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the mousse.
2. In a small sauce pan combine chocolate, 1/4 cup of water, and butter. Melt over low heat, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan combine egg yolks, sugar, and water. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, until mixture is slightly hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate to the egg yolk mixture, stirring until combined and smooth.
4. Fill a large bowl (or your kitchen sink) with ice and set the pot of chocolate in the ice mixture. Stir until chocolate mixture is thoroughly cooled, but not so cold that the chocolate is starting to harden.
5. Remove whipped cream from refrigerator. Add chocolate mixture, in small batches, to the cream, gently and gradually folding it in with a spatula until fully combined.
6. Chill the mousse in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.