Chocolate mousse is a favorite dessert at many fine dining party. It's similar to pudding but has a richer, more chocolate-drenched flavor. Fortunately, it's very easy to make and you can prepare it well in advance so you can concentrate on other aspects of the meal.
- Whip up the cream with a whisk or electric whip then refrigerate for later application.
- To heat the chocolate a double boiler works well. Fill the lower section with water and heat to about 120°F (49°C) before adding the ingredients. Add the chocolate, butter and espresso then melt the mixture thoroughly together, stirring gently. Remove the top section from the heat and pour into a warm, ceramic bowl.
- Set aside the chocolate mixture for a few minutes to cool slightly.
- Whip the egg whites, creating a good foam. Add in the sugar a little bit at a time as you whip, then beat the mixture until you get a firm goo. After a few minutes, you'll be ready to add the egg yolks. Stir in 1/3 of the cold whipped cream and mix well with the eggs, then add the remaining cream and fold until thoroughly blended.
- Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture, stirring gently but thoroughly until it's entirely blended. Then cover and refrigerate. Chilling will take several hours, but you can prepare the mousse as far as a day in advance before serving.
The ceramic bowl can be warmed by adding a small amount of water and microwaving for a few seconds. Be careful not to let all the water boil away, though. Microwaves with no water to heat can easily be damaged.
Test the temperature of the chocolate mixture and when it falls to 100°F (38°C) you're ready to combine the two major components into a single bowl.
For a very rich variation, instead of bittersweet chocolate use about 1/2 lb of dark Belgian chocolate and a little more sugar. To the basic mousse you can add raspberries, in the pudding or on top, or other fruits as desired.