I invented the light version for a dinner party my daughter gave for five of her teenage friends, years ago. She wanted me to make chocolate mousse. And I remembered back 35 years ago when I first made it from Julia. I loved the orange flavor (MAFC I p. 604). And it was this recipe (and TV episode) that taught me to beat and fold in egg whites. I had few of the ingredients and no time. So I made a light version for the girls.
I serve this in little 3-ounce cordial glasses. A fun treat rather than a big chocolate dig-in. Nobody complains except kids. And you can haul out the leftovers and let them fight over them.
Chocolate is always an issue in a small town. The other day, I picked up a bar of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate in the baking chocolate section, then noticed the same bar in the candy section (conveniently placed next to the express lane at Fareway) for almost exactly half the price. It worked fine. Of course you can buy the fanciest chocolate you can. If time is money, then this recipe is a bargain no matter how expensive the chocolate is.
The 5-minute version is heavier because you don't take time to beat the egg whites. But hey, it tastes really good. And it's not all that heavy. The guys at the shelter love it. So here they are: light, Julia's shortened, and 5-minute. (By the way, the Valentine's day menu yesterday was Caviar deviled eggs with Parmesan crisps, rib-eye steaks fry-broiled, roasted winter vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts), Maytag blue cheese with olive oil and pepper)
Mousse au chocolat légère
8 ounces excellent semi-sweet or milk chocolate
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
4 egg whites
- Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a clean metal mixing bowl and reserving the yolks for another use (they freeze fine).
- Break the chocolate into pieces in a microwave safe plastic bowl. Add the orange liqueur and microwave on medium for about 35 seconds, or until just melted.
- With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (MAFC I pp. 159-160).
- With a spatula, stir 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate. Then turn the chocolate mixture into the egg white bowl and carefully fold the whites and the chocolate together (MAFC I pp. 160-161)
VARIATION: Mousseline au chocolat; Mayonaise au chocolat; Fondant au chocolat
This is the original recipe from MAFC1 p. 604 speeded up. The ingredients from Julia's recipe are the same. A fast operator can have this ready to chill in 10 minutes, and two hours later, about dessert time, it's ready.Serves 6-8
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate broken into bits with a kinfe
1/3 cup powdered sugar
4 Tb strong coffee
1/4 cup orange liqueur
6 ounces unsalted butter (one and one half sticks)
optional: 1/4 cup finely diced, glazed orange peel (candied)
1 can compressed whipped cream
- Run warm water in a large bowl or sink while you separate the eggs, putting the whites in a clean mixing bowl. Float it on the warm water.
- Put the coffee and orange liqueur in the microwave on high for one minute, until very hot but not boiling
- Place the chocolate and sugar in a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds.
- Add the hot liquid and blend 15 seconds or until smooth.
- Add the butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices, and the egg yolks. Blend on high for 15 seconds.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the yolks with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and fold the c
- Pour into elegant serving bowls, wine glasses, flutes, or ramekins and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
- Garnish with the whipped cream and optional candied orange peel or chocolates.
VARIATION: Blender chocolate mousse in 5 minutes
Here's the one I did for the Emergency Residence Project on 1/14/11. I made it in 5 minutes, with time to chop the pistachios.
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (Hershey's Special Dark is good)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup hot cream (160 degrees F/71 degrees C)
1/4 cup strong coffee, heated
1/4 cup orange liqueur
[optional] whipped cream pressurized, pistachios
- Open the cream carton and put it in the microwave on high for one minute.
- Put the chocolate chips and the sugar in a blender and blend on high for 10 seconds.
- Add the hot milk, hot coffee, and orange liqueur and blend on high for two minutes.
- As it is blending, add the eggs one at a time through the top hole.
- Pour into a glass serving bowl, individual glasses, bowls, or ramekins, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
- Garnish with whipped cream and/or chopped pistachios