Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse

I seldom have so many sweets creeping up on me, but I suppose everyone is entitled to a little sweet tooth every now and then, no? And because D and I are gearing up to high tail it out of here, I know these sugary treats will be consumed in no time flat. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I tried out a few recipes and found this one to be a winner. My own mother agrees, having devoured two servings already.

I found this recipe scanning The Chicago Tribune this weekend. While flowers can be particular per person-- allergies, matching colors and varietals all play into effect-- most of us can agree on the decadence of chocolate. I know few mothers who could resist this sugary kiss that says love.

This dessert is brought to us from Wolfgang Puck, adding a guaranteed winner to the recipe box. If done right, it is seductively light, making it an ideal warm weather dessert. Enjoy it with a tall glass of milk, champagne, or a kiss. Any way you enjoy it, mom will know it was made with love (and quite easily too!).

A quick note: do not use ultra-pasteurized whipping cream. It was all I had in the house and because departure is upon us I did not want to buy more. Ultra-pasteurized “whipped” cream turns out flat, as pictured above. Still, it is just as delicious.

This is the recipe as it appears in the Tribune.
Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 3 minutes. Yield: 6 servings
* 1-½ cups whipping cream plus more for garnish
* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
* 4 whites of pasteurized eggs, see note
* 1/8 teaspoon each: cream of tartar, salt
* 1/4 cup sugar

1) Heat half of the cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; pour the cream over the chocolate in a large bowl, making sure all of the chocolate is covered with cream. Set aside 1 minute. Slowly stir the mixture together with a heatproof spatula until blended; set aside.
2) Beat the egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until whites begin to foam, about 2 minutes. Beat in the cream of tartar and the salt, beating until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the sugar, beating just until stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 4 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until blended.
3) Add the remaining cream to the bowl used to beat the egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg white-chocolate mixture.
4) Spoon the mousse into individual parfait glasses, ramekins or small bowls. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until well chilled and firmly set, at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.
Note: Due to the possible presence of salmonella, pasteurized eggs are recommended for mousse. They are available in large supermarkets in the egg department.

In non-food related news, Eat Stuff brings us the beloved WCB. Today Whiskey & Kitty BoJangles show a little love to the outdoor world awaiting the arrival of somebody special.

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