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Thursday
Mar152012

Mousse au chocolat... with a little orange sunshine 

 

Don't be so quick to turn up your nose at this French 101 dessert cliché.  I know you probably made Mousse au Chocolat in Middle School French Club or if your mother, like mine, signed you up to take a children's French cooking class with the neighbor lady who spent a year in France... you probably made it there too.  Or perhaps you ate it at the first restaurant on the first night of your first visit to Paris (and were surprised when they brought out a big communal bowl from which to serve yourself.)  There is good reason why this dessert is always the introduction to French food... it is just that good!

I don't make this rich and decadent dessert too often but when I do I fall in love with it all over again.  The Grand Marnier gives it a subtle sunny lift of orange.  Celebrate a Thursday night, like we did, with this creamy and delightful French cliché... c'est magnifique!

 

Mousse au Chocolat 

(adapted from Ina Garten's recipe in Barefoot in Paris)

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped 

2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 eggs at room temperature, separated

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1/2 cup cold heavy cream

In a pan over low heat, combine the two chocolates, Grand Marnier, 1/4 cup water and the vanilla.  Watch carefully and stir while melting chocolate.  Let cool a little.  Stir in the butter  until combined.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat on high speed the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar for 3 minutes until thick and pale yellow.  With the mixer on low speed, pour in the chocolate mixture.  Transfer to a large bowl.

In a CLEAN bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat 1 cup of the egg whites, pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar until firm but not dry. 

Whisk half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and then carefully fold in the rest with a rubber spatula.

Whip the cream and remaining tablespoon of sugar until firm in the same bowl with the whisk attachment (no need to clean it off first.)  Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.  Spoon into individual dishes or one 8-cup serving bowl.  Cover and chill.  Serve with orange zest and some whipped cream.

 

Click here for printable recipe.

 

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I'd love to hear about you experiences with mousse au chocolat!  Click here to leave me a comment.


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Reader Comments (13)

Wow, this looks so decadent! That's one of the Ina Garten books I don't have. I guess that needs to change!

Not too lomg ago I made a chocolate mousse and itdisapointed me. Bad texture, and not enough sweetness, which is odd, both me and my husband are not heavily into sweets.

I would like to tryyour version. One question, though - how many eggs go into it?

03.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSallyBR

Ooh la la .... quel plaisir!

03.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

OOOOhhhhh, I wish I had that martini glass in my hand right now. Grand Marnier? Yes, please. And its naturally gluten free. Thanks for the idea :)

03.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchris

Ah yes, I think we took that French cooking class together so many moons ago. Looks like it planted a seed in you! I enjoy your blog... Anne

03.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Ballentine

Your photos are so gorgeous! It just makes one want to pull out a spoon and taste grab from that photo. Are you using a prime 50? Hope all is well. Need your summer dates for M. Jane

03.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Lisa, thanks for bringing your orange sunshine with this beauty. You made me laugh about the French and choc mousse story - I had just about forgotten that one. Yes, I remember when I first arrived in Paris as a poor student, the highlight was that communal bowl of mousse passed around the table - and 'à volonté' to boot. Shockingly decadent! They certainly wouldn't have put your lovely Grand Marnier in theirs ;-)

03.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJill Colonna

Sally - That is 8 eggs not "egg" eggs. Thanks for catching the mistake!! I guess I shouldn't type out recipes when I'm tired!

Love it allllll! Xxx gran

03.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGran

Thanks, Lisa!

No problem whatsoever - you know what I did in my most recent post? I wrote that you needed to have "one drink shaker full of glass"

now that would be something wouldn/t it? Someone caught the mistake and told me the following day, but I looked at that post many times, and never noticed! So, you are NOT alone! ;-)

03.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSallyBR

Lisa dear, I remember the class you referred to. It was taught by our friend Jean Tuttle just after they moved back from France. Have lost track of she and Tom. Dad

03.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDad

Your chocolate mousse looks amazing!
Beautiful photo!

Some things are classics for a reason, and mousse au chocolate would be one of those things. Home Ec 101 or not when properly executed this is one of the all time great deserts. Little touch of Grand Marnier makes it very special indeed.

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