Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gifting Chocolate Mousse

Marlene’s Fabulous French Face said it all on Sunday~ chocolate mousse is delish!

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Kerry and I prepared two kinds of mousse in advance as my “final,” in case we had time; there was not time, but my students were still able to sample both recipes and have a lengthy discussion with me about chocolate, where to buy (72% Valrhona from France is $2.99 I think at Trader Joes) and how to make it.  The recipe at left is the “quick version, doctored a little as I will explain later this week; the base recipe is from a fantastic cookbook devoted to chocolate which came with my Sunday paper one weekend in Beaune; at right is the Julia Child classic recipe, using orange zest not orange liqueur; the texture was amazing though the recipe is more involved; email or comment and I will send it to you~

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Here is the quick recipe, which we will add to printable recipes this week:

Mousse au Chocolat Noir aka Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

180 grams chocolate (try Valrhona from Traders Joes +70%; I use two bars)

4 eggs

50 grams butter (half a stick) cut into pieces

15cl fresh cream (3/4 cup)

2 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 heaping tablespoon vanilla sugar

To Make:

Break the chocolate in pieces by tapping against the counter while in the foil and paper wrappers; I do not chop the chocolate as it ends up on your cutting board and knife and it’s best in the mousse!  Melt it in a double boiler (any pan over simmering water) over low heat.

Add the butter pieces. Let the butter melt and stir it into the chocolate so that it is smooth.

Remove the double boiler from heat (take the top pan off the simmering water)  and add the cream and vanilla extract. Add other flavors such as orange zest if desired. Set aside.

Break the eggs into two bowls, separating the whites and the yolks. Beat the yolks until they are “white,” about five minutes, and add the cooled chocolate mixture to the yolks and stir to combine.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and then add the sugar and vanilla, and continue to beat until smooth.

Add half the chocolate mixture into the egg whites, and mix well but carefully using a whisk or spatula. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture, turning carefully so as to maintain the volume of the egg whites.

Pour into a serving dish and chill at least two hours.

This is where the fun comes in; wouldn’t you love to serve a chocolate mousse for four or six in a large sugar bowl~IMG_9262

Or in any number of other decorative bowls?  For good friends, I don’t mind giving them a mousse in a fancy bowl as long as the bowl gets returned; though you can find good vintage bowls like this brown transferware below for $10 at the Rose Bowl Flea, so this might end up as a gift to someone, filled with mousse~

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Even a fancy wine glass is great, for individual or shared servings if you had a dinner for couples….add cream and berries on top or a spiced or cinnamon cookie; use a variety of your vintage tea cups or proper French pots~

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For two, I would use a nice whiteware sauceboat and fill it with a quarter recipe; just enough for two, with the spoons set out as such, I know a lot of men who would love this~

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And for a Valentines dinner, definitely use the magic combination of chocolate and raspberry~

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R and I like to go to a restaurant in Savigny for lunch; and there they have an enormous 19thC porcelaine blanche tureen filled with perhaps a quadruple recipe of chocolate mousse.  They serve it a table with a large spoon and you have never felt so special having your dessert served to you.  I love the smaller Lions Head bowls found at Sur La Table; these are now 20% off but I got them recently at 40% off so at $7 for the bowl, plus cost of the mousse; they will figure into my Christmas gifts, filled with chocolate mousse and a printed recipe.   Add a generous satin bow~

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Tie low around the bottom and swoosh up the top~

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Tie on a nice spoon of any kind into the ribbon for a super treat; wouldn’t you also love to receive this for a Christmas or Hostess Gift?

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As always, email with any questions re supplies and the recipes….

9 comments:

  1. Delish! The photo says it all! ;) I so wish I could have been there~ yum! xoxo Rachel

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  2. Guess what I am doing this weekend? Thank you.

    Warm regards

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  3. Andrea!
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on the bay leaf...it grows in a little gravel bed next to our patio. I harvest all spring and summer long. In early November, I prune big and dry it for (just as you posted today)hostess gifts...and party favors. I will be posting about it in a couple weeks.

    The Lion's head bowl is amazing! I am organizing various white pieces of dinnerware for my son for Christmas...these have both a masculine and elegant touch! I assure you that there will be a couple of these in the mix! Brilliant!

    ...and the Chocolate Mousse...our Labrador Retriever'a name is "The Chocolate Gousse". We call her Gousse for short!

    I will make your recipe this weekend for Saturday night wine!

    ~Lynne
    [w/L]

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  4. This is such a super idea!! xo HHL

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  5. Andrea, that mousse looks so gooooood!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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  6. i like your ideas and the style of this blog.

    Check out mine i let me know what do you think about?

    http://paquetevistasbien.blogspot.com

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  7. By the way, do you have a house in Beaune? Our house is about 1 hour north of Beaune.
    Warm regards

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  8. Andrea I adore the Lion's Heads Bowls with the tied ribbon and spoon, really lovely and who doesn't love chocolate mousse?!

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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