frozen chocolate mousse (+ postpartum fitness)

frozen chocolate mousse

For some reason when I post a ridiculous dessert like this, I sometime feel the need to simultaneously talk about health.  Maybe to make myself feel better?  So let’s talk.

The truth is (and please don’t hate me for this) I have lost all of my pregnancy weight.  I weigh less than I did before I was pregnant, but more than I did during the lowest point of my pregnancy.  People have asked me what my secret is and I try to laugh it off, but the truth is that’s just what you get for being so deathly ill during pregnancy: all of the weight I did end up gaining was literally just baby weight.

There are still two problems though.  1) The weight is distributed differently (which means I still don’t quite fit in to all my pants).  And 2) I miss my muscle tone.

It’s the second one that’s the kicker for me.  I’m really not that concerned with a different distribution of weight.  As long as I don’t have to buy an entirely new wardrobe (and most of my pants fit fine with the help of a rubber band around the button), I’m good.  But I miss feeling strong.  I mean, I was never in particularly amazing shape, but over the year pre-pregnancy I had really gotten into some good fitness habits.

I’ve been easing myself into workouts in the past several weeks, with postnatal yoga and some workouts for beginners.  But finally the other day I did one of Daily Burn’s 15 minute workouts that made me feel strong.  Which feels better than having pants that fit or a certain number on the scale.

frozen chocolate mousse

I really don’t have a good way to transition into talking about the richest dessert I’ve made in ages, but here it is.  The richest dessert I’ve made in ages.  I’ve made this two weekends in a row now, which seems excessive, but they were for special occasions: once when my college roommate came to visit and once for my mom’s birthday.  It is indulgent and delectable and really not difficult to make at all.  It is a perfect chocolate treat.  And that feels good, too; because I strongly believe that food that is good for you is not just food that is healthy for you.  Food that is good for you is also food that is good for your soul.

frozen chocolate mousse

frozen chocolate mousse

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 8-10

This mousse is absolute decadence and putting it in the freezer gives it an almost gelato-like texture. It's hard to mess this up, too. The first time I made it I thought I had because I didn't finely chop my chocolate at the end but rather left the chocolate chips I had relatively whole and they all sank to the bottom. Even that was delicious though. (I do feel like I should also mention that the eggs here are not cooked. So if that bothers you (or you are pregnant), this may not be your thing.)

Ingredients

  • For the mousse:
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (bar or good quality chocolate chips)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 6 large eggs
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated
  • To finish:
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a small heat proof bowl set over simmering water, combine the 3 oz. chocolate and the 6 tablespoons of water. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. (Alternately, you can microwave the chocolate and water until the chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds.) Set aside to cool.
  2. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl and the whites in another large (or slightly smaller) bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites along with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  3. To the egg yolks, add the sugar. Using the same electric mixer and beaters, mix on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and pale (kind of like mayonnaise), about 3-4 minutes. Then mix in the cocoa powder and vanilla.
  4. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix on medium-low speed to combine.
  5. Add the egg whites by the large spoonful, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold in each spoonful before you add more.
  6. In the same bowl you beat the egg whites in, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then gently fold in the cream like you did the egg whites.
  7. Gently fold in the chopped (or grated) chocolate.
  8. Pour the whole mixture into a 10 cup souffle dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for several hours (or overnight).
  9. Before serving, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Then spread or pipe the heavy cream over the top of the mousse before serving.

Notes

adapted from Ina Garten

http://erinblueburke.com/2014/11/frozen-chocolate-mousse-postpartum-fitness/

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