Chocolate mousse is one of my favorite desserts. It’s always the first thing I look for on a dessert menu at a restaurant if we go out for dinner. I have been wanting to try making my own for a while, so when a recent issue of Fine Cooking arrived with a recipe for chocolate mousse, it was perfect timing. Because the mousse was very rich, I added whipped cream to lighten it up a bit. It was just what I needed to satisfy my chocolate craving!
Chocolate Mousse Parfait
Source: Adapted from Fine Cooking
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, preferably 62% cacao, chopped
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 large egg whites
Pinch of table salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup heavy cream (divided)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate with a heatproof spatula just until it is melted. Remove the bowl from the skillet, add the butter to the chocolate, and stir until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed (or in a stand mixer with a balloon whisk), whip the egg whites and salt until they barely hold soft peaks. While whipping, gradually sprinkle in the sugar—go slowly, as adding it too fast may cause the whites to fall. Continue whipping until the whites just start to hold stiff peaks. Don’t over beat or the dissolved sugar may weep out of the whites.
Wipe the beaters (or whisk) clean and then whip 3/4 of a cup of the cream in a large bowl until it’s fairly thick and holds a soft peak when the beaters are lifted.
With a large spatula, gently fold about one third of the egg whites into the chocolate until the mixture is no longer streaky. Fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Fold gently until the mixture is uniform in color and texture.
Then whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and vanilla in with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment until peaks form. (I usually add 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar to my whipped cream, but I left it out this time because the mousse was so rich).
To assemble, layer the mousse and whipped cream into 4 serving dishes and serve immediately, or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for a slightly firmer texture. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if using.
Note: The risk of salmonella infection from consuming raw egg whites is low, but the only way to be completely safe is to use pasteurized egg whites.