I learnt how to make this Creamy Chocolate Mousse from Betty Crocker. I wish I was kidding, because hell that's way uncool, but it is the truth. Growing up I had this Betty Crocker recipe book, it was the size of a drugstore paperback and some 600 pages thick. Most of what I baked came from that little book without coloured photos or pithy pre recipe commentary. The instructions were pretty basic, but they clearly were good because I had more hits than misses from that tattered red book.
Since moving to Canada and becoming a little fancier in my baking endeavours (lol) I tried other recipes, but each time I wind up feeling a little meh. Too sweet, too underwhelming, too rich, not the right texture. Eventually I circled back to this Classic Creamy Chocolate Mousse recipe. I had a bite and all seemed right in the world again. It has that lovely airy texture that mousse should have, the creamy elegance, the smooth chocolate finish. I will freely admit that a lot of recipes now use half the cream. The day I took pictures I tried it that way, but ultimately I prefer the lightness of a creamier mousse. If you want something darker then please do use ½ cup cream.
What I have learnt though is that a darker chocolate is best i.e. 55% or darker. The meringue is sweet, the cream is sweetened and when I make mousse with semi sweet chocolate it's elegant finish gets replaced by a fruity twang. This is a classic French style mousse i.e it has raw eggs in it. I don't worry about any adverse health effects from my pasteurized Canadian eggs. However, should you have concerns or be pregnant or have a compromised immune system then please do exercise caution. You can still get a mousse like chocolate fix though! Just make the filling for this Easy Chocolate Mousse Tart and eat with a spoon!
From a technical perspective a Classic Creamy Chocolate Mousse can seem a little daunting. I do believe that making a good mousse just calls for the right state of mind. It is not a dish to make on that frazzled do everything day. It is what you make when you know you have the mental luxury to savour the intoxicating smell of melting chocolate. It is what you make on the day when the transformation of egg whites into pillowy meringue will lift your soul. It is what you make on the days where the deft but gentle folding of the components will give you nothing but satisfaction. Basically, make it on a day when you are prepared to enjoy the making as much as the eating!
Classic Creamy Chocolate Mousse
- 6 oz dark chocolate (55% or darker)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3 egg whites
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler. Use a large bowl if possible or transfer to one once melted.
- Let the mixture cool to room temp then briskly stir the egg yolks into the chocolate mix to avoid lumps. Set aside
- Whip the egg whites till foamy then add the cream of tartar
- Keep whipping until soft peaks form, i.e. a beater lifted out of whites will create a peak that folds over the top
- Add the sugar in 1 tbsp at a time, mixing for a minute between additions to incorporate.
- Keep beating until stiff peaks form, i.e. a beater lifted out of the meringue will result in a stiff peak of meringue
- Beat the cream and sugar together till the cream is fluffy, a beater lifted out of the cream mix should see distinct peaks form
Putting it Together
- Fold about a quarter of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. When folding take care to gently swoop under and over to mix and not stir.
- Now gradually fold in the remaining meringue in two more batches taking care to be gentle to help maintain texture.
- Fold in the cream, refrigerate until ready to serve.