Chocolate Mousse

I am addicted to chocolate. It is the one vice I just cannot, and will not, let go of. Chocolate in any form (though preferably sweet) just tastes so amazing. Chocolate doesn't even have to be unhealthy, if you buy or make the right kind. Mjuugly is especially good with that, and I will be translating and creating some of her chocolate recipes at some point for the blog.

My mother's chocolate mousse has made her famous among friends and family for over 20 years. It is probably the most amazing mousse I have ever tasted. I don't care if you've eaten mousse from a Michelin star restaurant, they're all just pale comparisons to my mother's. The secret is that it contains very few ingredients. I don't like chocolate mousse to have extra sugar (chocolate is already sweet), gelatin (we're not making pudding here), heavy cream (again, chocolate in it self is very rich, why add more?), just leave it to the bare essentials. The chocolate in it self will create a marvelous party of happiness in your mouth, don't ruin it with unnecessary ingredients that will dampen the rich chocolate taste!

This is a family speciality, and I of course needed to adapt it so my Missus could enjoy this family treat. Fortunately, since it does contain so few ingredients, it was pretty easy to convert to a gluten and dairy free desert. What you need to do is get fine dark chocolate that is dairy and gluten free, and replace the butter with margarine that doesn't contain any milk. Now, I would usually recommend switching the butter with coconut oil, or even grapeseed oil, however, my experiments with that have yielded more fudge-like consistencies than mousse. Now, it has to be said that this doesn't spoil the taste at all. It feels more like eating fudge or ice cream than mousse when done with oil. But some times you want the mousse concistency, or you - like me - prefer how this feels when eating, you will need to find a margerine type that does not contain any milk. Of course, also try avoiding any margarine that contains palm oil, it is bad for you.

The chocolate I use for this is actually a cheat-cheat. The brand is called "Odense Marcipan" (danish company), and is gluten and dairy free, however, it may contain traces of dairy and nuts. Now, the Missus is not allergic, but intolerant. This makes it possible for us to chose how strict we need to be. Gluten is a no-no, no matter what. She feels worse immediately after consuming any gluten, so we are very strict with that. When it comes to milk and corn, we are less strict. If something contains traces of these allergens, it is so little that her body doesn't seem to react to it. So, we are in the clear. But I am very excited to try making this with home-made chocolate some day!

This is also the first time I've made the mousse with 70% cocoa chocolate, and not with 55%. The rule of thumb when it comes to chocolate is that the darker (higher cocoa percentage) the chocolate is, the healthier it is. So, being able to switch from 55% to 70% makes quite a bit of difference. Now, looking at the ingredients for each package, they are listed in the exact same way, and since there is no indication of quantities in ingredient lists, it's hard to have an objective view of ho much healthier one is over the other. All I can say is that the darker chocolate is more bitter, and therefore it is likely that it contains a lot less sugar. The fact that 15% of the contents of the 55% bar is switched out with cocoa in the 70% bar, will hint to it having less of a lot of things, and therefore most probably less sugar as well.

Chocolate Mousse
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Ingredients
5 eggs
250 g dark chocolate (gluten and dairy free)
30 g butter/margarine/ghee (margerine without milk)
5 tbls water
1 tbls cognac/brandy
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yields: 8 portions
Directions
Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Beat the eggs whites until stiff. In a large double boiler, melt the chocolate and water. When melted, add the butter/margerine and mix until they create a glossy, thick paste. Take the chocolate mix off the double boiler and add one yolk at the time, stirring well between each. Add the brandy/cognac. Carefully fold in the egg whites, one table spoon at the time. Be sure not to beat too vigorously, it will deflate the mousse. Be gentle, you will be happy you were later.

A note if you are making it without milk products. After melting the chocolate and adding the margarine or oil, the chocolate mixture will be less paste-like than normal. This will become even more evident when adding the egg yolks. The mixture will lump up into one or two pieces. It will look kind of grainy. I have been trying to combat this effect vigurously by trying different oils/margarine types, by having the mixture in or out of the double boiler while adding the eggs, by melting the oil/margarine together with the chocolate and stirring the mixture as little as possible, stirring it more than usual etc. Alas, I have not been able to avoid this effect. However, this grainy/lumpiness will go away once you start adding the stiffened egg whites. The experienced pattisseur will understand that this is the reason for the mousse loosing its fluffy texture. The egg whites are being added to a mixture that is not very liquid, so the air will be let out. But I promise you, the fudge-like texture it ends up with is still very satisfying!

Pour the mousse either into a large bowl for serving, or to individual serving glasses. The time it needs to be refrigerated depends on the size of the bowl/glass. In one large portion, this will need about 6 hours refrigeration, a double portion needs 8 hours. Single servings tend to need between 2 and 3 hours to stiffen properly. Remember that the bottom of your refrigerator is more cool than the top. This will have an impact on how fast they become stiff.

If you're not on a milk free diet, I recommend serving this with whipped cream (buy heavy cream and whip it, it's so much healthier and tastes better than the bottle kind), whipped with a little bit of added vanilla sugar. You can also make a nice berry-sauce to serve with it, preferably hot in that case. Personally, I like how raspberries and chocolate taste together! YUM YUM!

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