Help! I don't know how to eat anymore!

Help! I don't know how to eat anymore!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Night Dinner Mousse

Disclaimer: Despite what you may think, I do realize that the photo below is probably not the best opening picture as it looks a bit...disgusting. I completely forgot to take pictures before I served it all so I promise the next time I make it I will take fancy ramekin photos and place them here. 

I'm not one for memorizing recipes. No matter how many times I've made something, I usually still need a recipe to get it right. This makes me know I will never be a real chef as I have little ability to freestyle my way through cooking.
 A few winters ago in the midst of the winter blues my friends and I started a weekly tradition called Wednesday night dinner. It was something to look forward to, a reason to continue on with your week when it got dark at 4:30 every day and was 30-40 degrees for months. There were three of use who lived at the ends of 3 streets that were parallel to each other, so we had an excuse to go for a short drive and hang out for dinner. These weekly dinners also gave us a chance to branch out and learn new types of foods with a different theme every week. As the days get warmer, the dinners begin to peter off and eventually cease altogether.
Every fall the days begin to shorten again and eventually we all make a triumphant return Wednesday Night Dinners. Tonight is our first of the 2010/2011 winter and the theme is comfort foods. I have some very talented foodie friends, making it hard for me to always stay on the wheat-free train. For me, comfort foods are usually starchy or sweet so in the hope of getting a post out of it I went the sweet route this time.
For all the times I've made this chocolate mousse with a recipe, I would think I could make it again with a recipe. Excited to wow people with my comfort food dessert tonight, I made sure to follow everything to the letter.  I read and reread everything and double checked myself often. It's a fairly simple recipe, only 6 ingredients, yet when covering the mousse with parchment paper to put in the fridge to chill I noticed a stick of butter sitting on the counter.

I reread the recipe again and figured out where I went wrong. These freakish sunny 60 degree January days are throwing me off. I added the butter at the end and hoped for the best. Luckily for me, this turned out to be a happy accident just like that Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto last summer.
Because I left the butter melting out of the chocolate melting step, the chocolate just sort of balled up when I added the brandy and egg. On the up side, these chocolate balls turned out to be little chocolate pearls inside a quite delicious chocolate mousse. I'm a huge fan of added chocolate chunks or chips to baked goods, specifically brownies, and I think these little balls added a nice contrast of texture for my mouth.
So, a successful mousse even though I mistakenly improvised my way through it. I lovingly borrowed this recipe from smitten kitchen and she gets all the credit. The only thing I have ever done differently is adding dons of fresh raspberries on top to cut through so much heavy chocolate. Raspberries and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations and in this case it's heavenly. Enjoy.
Chocolate Mousse

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao), chopped
3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon brandy
1 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave, but microwaves sort of scare the bejesus out of me so I avoid them whenever possible. Also, it's pretty fun to create a ghetto double boiler and feel fancy. This isn't the first time either, I felt uber fancy when I did a double boiler for the Chocolate, Raspberry, and Banana Dessert Pizza last November.
Using an electric mixer, beat the yolks in a bowl for two to four minutes, just until thick enough to form a ribbon that takes a few seconds to dissolve. Add yolks and brandy to chocolate and butter mixture, then cool to warm. In another bowl, beat the whipped cream just until it holds stiff peaks. In yet another bowl, add salt to egg whites and beat until they hold soft peaks. While this recipe is easy and has very few ingredients, it is does use quite a few kitchen utensils so get ready to do some dishes...or serve people some mousse and make them clean up for you!
Anyway, gently fold the whipped cream and beaten egg whites into the chocolate and butter mixture. Voila! Mousse! You can serve in ramekins or fancy bowls with whipped cream and raspberries on top or whatever variation you would like. Smitten kitchen says this recipe serves 8. I'm not the best at portion control and this was definitely comfort food week for Wednesday Night Dinner, so I say it probably more comfortably serves 6. You can cover with parchment paper and keep in the fridge for up to two days, just make sure to take the mousse out 30 minutes before serving. But trust me, it won't last two days once you taste it.
Bon appetit...just not wheat!

No comments:

Post a Comment