Weekend cooking – Chocolate mousse (video)

For years, our sweet little neighbor upstairs in the building used to deliver bowls of her chocolate mousse to a few us lucky people. Before retirement, she ran a brasserie in St. Germain, so she could cook some fantastic meals. Very old school and at times heavier than what’s available today, but it was consistently good.

But it was her chocolate mousse that wowed us all the most. So simple and so quick to prepare. We’d finish the bowl and return it and a few days later, she’d come knocking at the door with another bowl. Her little trick was to add touch of coffee (even a bit of instant coffee works) to give it a bit more depth, but it’s fine without it as well.

As the famous Raymond Blanc says, it all comes down to the quality of the chocolate. Don’t even bother using a lousy chocolate, because you can’t hide it with so few ingredients. I exclusively use organic eggs (it’s one of the few items that I always buy organic) but the better the quality, the better the end result.

You will have to spend a few minutes by the heat to make this, but serving it, it will be chilled.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well, aside from the snark Em, I understand the 1% crack, but we feel that on those rare occasions, when in celebration with the communion of friends and neighbors we splurge on special things. When we all chip in and contribute a great feast is enjoyed,

  • emjayay

    I was going to suggest the super gourmet kind as an alternative. But TJ one pounders if not the same quality are probably ten times cheaper. Some of us aren’t in the one percent you know. We’re takers.

  • emjayay

    Also for grams, besides finding the conversion, you can get a little not super accurate scale for maybe five bucks.

  • emjayay

    In related news, if you haven’t been upstairs at Zabar’s check it out. Where else is there about six or eight choices of egg slicer?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Or having a Dad or married to one with the Paris Cordon Bleu training always delighting the day with simple, exquisite classic treats made with garden or fresh market items…..the smell of butter melting, chocolate, roasting meats, Rosemary, Dill and herbs! What heaven!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Scharffen Berger chocolate is excellent. Use the rest to make chocolate cheesecake.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    One of my favorite all time treats is marron glace fro southern France. You might be able to find them at Zabars. They are expensive, but wonderful.

  • emjayay

    I read somwhere that Hershey’s has that slightly tangy taste because Mr. Hershey made it once with sour milk and I guess liked it. Anyway, nowhere near 70%. The best deal by far is at Trader Joe’s – a pound of high % chocolate from Belgium or someplace in several %’s. And then you have to eat the rest of it too, or keep making mousses or something.

  • emjayay

    I’ve never quite understood chestnuts. Is there something I can just buy at the store that’s already chestnutty?

  • tomtallis

    I love chocolate mousse, but we were completely blown away when we went to a restaurant in Vienna in November and had their freshly roasted chestnut mousse. We thought we had died and gone to heaven…

  • emjayay

    Well, you can use the yolks in French vanilla ice cream or some kind of cake. OK, the chocolote mousse was already a calorie blowout. Low fat though.

    Do those egg whites in a carton like at Trader Joe’s (and elsewhere) work? There is such a thing as powdered egg whites but I don’t think they whip.

    Probably microwaving the chocolate works just as well.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    10 minutes to do all that? I think we’re talking closer to half an hour or more. Shaving and chopping the chocolate, setting up the boiling water, separating egg whites and whipping them, etc.

    I’m not saying it’s not worthwhile. I adore good chocolate mousse.

  • lucia4

    According to his book Kitchen Secrets, ingredients are 165g good quality chocolate (at least 70% coca solids), 8 organic/free range medium egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, 20g caster sugar

  • Sally Hotchkiss

    I didn’t quite understand the proportions. Can anybody help out?

  • Drew2u

    I loved the chocolate in Europe so when I came back to the states and tried a piece of Hershey’s, it was alkaline and gritty. Now when I need my chocolate-bar fix, I just get the ones that say they donate portions of the sale to species conservation.

    At the same time, I kind of want to try this with “bad” ingredients just to compare the two and see how much difference there is.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Everyone always loves having a chef for a relative or neighbor.

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