Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to Whip Up Chocolate Mousse and Other Delights

Chocolate Cream Mousse

Source: Ciro Boro

Fast and Easy

When you are in a hurry and need a dessert that looks as spectacular as it tastes, try chocolate mousse or some of the variations on theme.
Some people make it with just chocolate and whipped cream and while that may taste nice, it just doesn't have that special feel in the mouth. Good chocolate mousse should be a sensuous experience and eggs seem to be the magic ingredient that takes it to the next level.
If you make the full recipe of chocolate filling for Grandma's Chocolate Cream Cake, then you will have enough left over for a quick and delicious chocolate mousse dessert. This is notreal chocolate mousse but it tastes very nice and is a good way to use up leftovers.
Just whip it up well after it has chilled thoroughly and then fold in unsweetened or very lightly sweetened whipped cream, the amount will vary depending on how much you have left over.
I wouldn't sweeten it at all since the chocolate cream is already very sweet. Use at least half the amount of cream as you have filling, whip, and combine until no streaks remain but be gentle! Spoon into pretty sherbet dishes, cover, and chill 30 minutes.
For a very pretty touch, look for old champagne glasses (not the flutes) in second hand shops. Mix and match.

This is all you need

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups of whipping cream
  • 4 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped (shave a bit and reserve for garnish)

Chocolate Mousse: The Real Deal

You can't go wrong. This is a simple but fantastic recipe for chocolate mousse. Beat an egg white and slowly add 1/4 cup of fine sugar, not icing or powdered sugar, until stiff peaks form and set aside. Next, we need to heat half the cream until it just boils and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is all melted, then set it in a bowl of cold water, add the second half of the cream and beat it until it's nice and fluffy. Fold in the egg white mixture and combine until no streaks remain. Chill. Top with some chocolate shavings and serve.
Hint: Make sure your bowl and beaters contain absolutely no residue of fats like butter or oil from any previous baking or your egg whites will not whip properly. If in any doubt at all, clean all your utensils and bowl thoroughly before you begin. Chefs swear by copper bowls for whipping egg whites to maximum volume.

A note about egg whites:

Many people are concerned about salmonella when using uncooked eggs in cooking and baking. If you are concerned, you can use pasteurized egg whites which are available in most supermarkets.
According to, the chances of you eating an egg that contains salmonella are extremely rare and you may come across one every 84 years or so. Don't use cracked eggs. An old test for egg freshness worked very well for me the other day. I was baking a cake and needed the eggs at room temperature so dropped them into a glass of water. One floated to the top and I remembered that this was an old way of checking freshness. Apparently, if an egg floats, don't use it. Fresh eggs will always sink quickly. Perhaps this is where they got the idea to test witches in the old days. If they floated, they were guilty like a bad egg. Unfortunately, it didn't pay to be innocent either if you sank like a stone!
Anyway, on close inspection of the floating egg, I found a tiny hairline crack so tossed it out. I would never have seen it had I not popped it into the water first! If you are going to use fresh egg whites, test the eggs and toss anything that floats. Buy local and free range.

Grandma's Original Prune Whip Recipe

  • 1-1/2 cups of stewed prunes
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • whipping cream for garnish
Stew prunes first, then cut fine 1-1/2 cups (better put through colander). Mix in 1/4 cup white sugar. Whites of 2 eggs. Beat stiff then beat all together. Serve with whipped cream n sherbet glasses. This serves 5 people.

Prune Whip

In Victorian and Edwardian times, prune whip was a very popular dessert and considered highly nutritious. Grandma made a very good one that even I liked and I didn't care for prunes at all.
Stew the prunes first put them in a food processor to purée. Measure 1-1/2 cups and beat until light. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and gradually add 1/4 cup white sugar. Beat until glossy and stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into prune purée, put in pretty glasses and refrigerate.
Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top.
Note: You can add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the prunes as you purée them if you prefer.
Try it! You just might like it.
Shop flea markets and second hand shops for old sherbet glasses or wide champagne glasses. It's completely acceptable to mix and match patterns so buy what you love. Your desserts will look as good as they taste.

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