It's rich, silky, extra chocolate-y with bittersweet chocolate and cocoa and has less than half the fat of regular mousse because it is lightened with egg whites and contains no cream! It can be eaten as it, or used as fillings and in the coming days I'll be showing you the many delicious uses I put it to :)
Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Mousse
Recipe source: Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Chocolate guru Alice Medrich from here
I strongly suggest you double it since you will finish the whole thing instantly. Well, I will! And you can freeze the left overs if there are any and use it for many many delicious purposes as I will tell you soon :)
- 1-3/4 tsp. gelatin ( I used 1 envelope)
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa ( I used natural- Ghiradelli's )
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup low-fat 1% milk
- 4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
- I also added I tsp of instant coffee powder and
- 2 tbsp of Bailey's because I'm totally on a Bailey's coffee chocolate trip right now
Recipe for the cake layer is from my Daring Bakers challenge attempt #2 here
Make the mousse:
- Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/8 cup cold water in a small cup. Let stand, untouched, for at least 5 minutes, or until needed. Don't stir.
- Place egg yolks in a medium bowl near the stove and have a small whisk ready on the side. Combine the cocoa and coffee powder (if using)with 1/6 cup of sugar in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Stir in enough milk to form a paste, then add in the remaining milk. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, reaching the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent burning. Stir the chocolate mixture continuously once it begins to simmer. Simmer gently, still stirring, for about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Scrape the mixture back into the pot and whisk well to combine. It’s now safe to eat and will thicken without anymore cooking. Stir in the softened gelatin, chopped chocolate, and vanilla. Let stand for a minute or so, and whisk again until chocolate’s completely melted and the mixture’s perfectly smooth.
- Set the saucepan in a large bowl of ice water to cool and thicken. Stir and scrape the sides occasionally. If the mixture begins to cool too quickly, remove from ice bath, whisk and set aside. Should the mixture actually set, place the pan in a bowl of hot water and stir just until resoftened.
- Make the meringue: Simmer 1 inch of water in a large skillet. Combine cream of tartar and 1 tsp of water in a 4- to 6-cup heatproof bowl. Whisk in the egg whites and 1/4 cup of sugar. Place an instant-read thermometer near the stove in a mug of very hot water. Place the bowl in the skillet. Stir the mixture briskly and constantly with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the sides and bottom often to avoid scrambling the whites. After 1 minute, remove the bowl from the skillet. Quickly insert thermometer, tilting bowl to cover the stem by at least 2 inches. If it’s less than 160 F, rinse the thermometer in the skillet water and return it to the mug. Place bowl in the skillet again. Stir as before until temperature reaches 160 F when bowl is removed. Beat on high speed until cool and stiff.
- Fold about a quarter of the cooled chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites. Scrape the egg white mixture back into the remaining chocolate mixture. Fold to combine.
Note: if you don’t mind raw egg whites, you don’t need to cook the whites beforehand. Simply beat the whites and cream of tartar in a bowl (water is unnecessary). When the mixture forms soft peaks, slowly sprinkle in the sugar and beat until stiff. Because this cooked meringue is firmer and deflates less than ordinary meringue, there’s a reversal in the conventional procedure for folding it with another mixture. If using regular meringue, lighten the mousse by folding a bit of the meringue in the chocolate mixture.
- Stir in the Baileys or other liqueur if using.
- If serving as mousse, pour into ramekins or small bowls cover and leave to set in the fridge for atleast 4 hours or overnight.
- Or pour into a ring mold as I did. ( a ring mold is like a round cookie cutter and has no top or bottom You can also use a springform cake pan without the bottom. Since I was making this for just us, I used a small empty tin of baby formula that I cleaned, with the bottom cut off with a can opener and covered on the inside with a piece of cling wrap and then a piece of wax paper along the inside edge)
- I also arranged a piece of cake from my failed Joconde experiment, placed strawberries, cleaned off their leaves and arranged them tops down, then poured the mousse over till the top of a mold that has been prepared with a piece of parchment or wax paper rolled to fit the inside
- I then placed another piece of cake cut to fit the mold on the top of the mousse and piled some more strawberries over.
- When it was time to serve, I unmolded my set mousse, peeled of the wax paper and then cut my mousse cake in half to reveal the pretty strawberries.
Storage: May be kept covered in the fridge for one day. You can also easily freeze it.It tastes even more luxurious when frozen. If you want to use it as filling, then let it thaw in the fridge, and melt it in a bowl placed in simmering water and stir until liquidy.
I would like to try this with Orange extract, orange zest and some Triple sec or Grand Mariner
Another combo would be with hazelnuts ground until liquefied - fueling my Nutella obsession
I would also love to try a little mint extract, or if you want to get spicy how about a little cayenne pepper? Oooh the possibilities! But then it's so great just the way it is too!
I would also like to have two layers of mousse next time. I would like to pair this with a layer of strawberry, white chocolate, vanilla or caramel mousse.
I will definitely be filling macaron shells with this, and will be sandwiching them straight from the freezer between thin cookies
Here are some more uses for it as suggested by Alice as well as Jessica:
Bittersweet chocolate marquis: Double the mousse recipe and freeze it in a 4 to 5-cup loaf pan. Serve in 1/2-inch slices with creme anglaise (custard sauce) or strained raspberry puree.
Chocolate gelato: Double the mousse recipe and freeze it in a container. Soften it in the fridge 15 minutes before serving and scoop into bowls for a chocolate explosion, even more luxurious than ice cream! and no need for an ice cream maker!
Layered cake: Use the mousse immediately as a filling in your favorite cake. Or use a different flavored mousse like vanilla or caramel and pour on top when this has set.Refrigerate and serve when set.When you cut to serve you will see pretty layers.
Charlotte: Line a large bowl or round cake pan with plastic wrap- (similar to what I did above). Then line the bottom and sides with ladyfingers or sponge cake and fill it with the mousse (triple the recipe above or use a smaller ring mold). Cover the top with berries and another layer of ladyfingers. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm and invert the charlotte onto a serving platter.
Buche de Noel: Make your favorite sponge cake in a jelly-roll pan. Line it with the frozen mousse (triple the recipe above) and roll it into a cylinder. Cover the cake with meringue and freeze until ready to serve. Bake the cake in a 425 F oven until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Serve immediately.