Our Second Easy Peasy Video
The first video showed you how easy it is to make Zabaione or Zabaglione – an Italian dessert- so we next decided to demonstrate the classic approach to French Chocolate Mousse. This is a case of showing you that simpler is better — as true for this traditional dessert as it is for the Italian one
Chocolate mousse is yet another example of a traditional dessert that’s become unnecessarily complicated over time, so our Easy-Peasy Video shows you how deliciously simple it is. No whipping cream, no extra butter, same amount of yolks as whites, and just use a top quality chocolate (I used Valrhona’s Oriado). This mousse is a recipe that I did with my daughters when they were little and I now am showing my grandsons how to make it too. Again, it is one found in the iconic Flavor of France by Narcisse and Narcissa Chamberlain.
Copper Bowl & Whisk Vs Mixer Bowl
I found it actually easier and as quick to hand-whisk egg whites in a copper bowl as it is to do it in a mixer. Using a balloon whisk also speeds it up. The copper actually does make your whites creamier, and here is a very thorough scientific explanation from Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine for Thoughtco.com
“The bowl you use makes a difference when you are whipping egg whites. Copper bowls produce a yellowish, creamy foam that is harder to overbeat than the foam produced using glass or stainless steel bowls. When you whisk egg whites in a copper bowl, some copper ions migrate from the bowl into the egg whites. The copper ions form a yellow complex with one of the proteins in eggs, conalbumin. The conalbumin-copper complex is more stable than the conalbumin alone, so egg whites whipped in a copper bowl are less likely to denature (unfold).
“When air is whisked into egg whites, the mechanical action denatures the proteins in the whites. The denatured proteins coagulate, stiffening the foam and stabilizing the air bubbles. If the foam is overbeaten in a non-copper bowl, eventually the proteins become completely denatured and coagulate into clumps. There is no going back from the clumpy mess to nice foamy whites, so overbeaten whites are usually discarded.
“If a copper bowl is used, then fewer protein molecules are free to denature and coagulate, because some are tied up in conalbumin-copper complexes. In addition to forming complexes with conalbumin, the copper may also react with sulfur-containing groups on other proteins, further stabilizing the egg proteins. Although the iron and zinc found in other metal bowls also form complexes with conalbumin, these complexes don’t make the foam more stable. When glass or steel bowls are used, cream of tartar may be added to egg whites to stabilize the whites.”
- 8 oz (227gr) mild bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup (6cl)water
- 5 large or extra large eggs separated
- 1 tsp ((1/2cl) vanilla extract (I prefer Nielson Massey)
- Melt the chocolate with the water in a bowl over simmering water, stirring until melted and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla.
- Stir the egg yolk mixture into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture.- it should be smooth and silky.
- Whisk egg whites until a stiff meringue forms.
- Fold one-quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture.
- Then fold the remaining portion of the whites, using a circular motion around the edge of the bowl and making a J fold toward the center.
- This helps the mousse to stay more airy.
- Pour into indvidual ramekins or into a 6 cup larger mold or souffle dish.
- Allow to set in the refrigerator for two hours at least, before serving with some whipped cream.
- You can substitute 1 shot of espresso for part of the 1/4 cup of hot water.
- I use Valrhona mild bittersweet chocolate (around 60%) such as their organic Oriado.
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.