Friday, March 28, 2014

Chocolate Mousse

I have a serious case of wanderlust. 

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am obsessed in love with Paris and all things French. A true Francophile at heart, I long for strolls through Parisian streets and tours of chateaus. I dream of Giverny gardens and the beautiful Parisian skyline. I'll buy anything with a French flag or saying on it (oui oui!). I wish for afternoons spent in bistros. And most importantly, I may spend too much time at work fantasizing about steak frites and croissants.

As part of my French obsession, I have recently been reading Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet. It's a great compilation of stories covering Paris, food, and occasionally haute couture or other unique topics. Besides the fabulous recipes and food writing, it's a great perspective on how Paris has changed over the years.  

This recipe for chocolate mousse stuck out because it seemed fairly easy and required no eggs. It looks adorable in cute little cups, and it tastes absolutely divine with a sprinkling of sea salt. This is pure dinner party flair--all of your friends will be in shock that you made chocolate mousse from scratch, no mixes or shortcuts required! C'est parfait!

Chocolate Mousse

from Remembrance of Things Paris

1/2 lb fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
2/3 cup confections' sugar, sifted
2 1/3 cup well-chilled heavy cream

In a saucepan, combine the chocolate and the milk and heat the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the butter until it is melted and then whisk in the confectioners' sugar and 1/3 cup of cream. Let the mixture cool and chill it, covered, for 1 hour.
In a chilled large bowl, beat the remaining 2 cups of cream until it just holds still peaks. 
Take half of the whipped cream and whisk it into the chocolate mixture.
Then fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Folding sounds intimidating, but all you do is simply cut through the mixture with your spatula to work in the chocolate mixture using a figure eight motion. Basically, just try to retain as much air as possible in the whipped cream by folding the whipped cream mixture into itself as you combine the ingredients.Divide the mousse amongst 10 teacups, and then refrigerate the teacups for one hour. Serve with a sprinkling of salt, more whipped cream, or shaved chocolate.

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