For Chocolate Lovers only
 
 

Milk Chocolate Mousse

Tips: This is a very rich dessert, best served in small portions after a light meal. It has the delicate flavor of milk chocolate and a light chocolate color. Conveniently, it must be made ahead of time and will sit quite happily in the fridge for a few days (tightly covered, please); it also freezes nicely (defrost, still in wrappings, in the fridge). I serve this in small white porcelain ramekins that hold about 1/3 cup each, although you could also spoon it into small, decorative, stemmed glasses. To decorate, keep it simple: just before serving, sprinkle a small amount of grated or shaved milk chocolate on top of each portion (you can also use a few small milk chocolate curls).

The chocolate you use for this must be of the finest quality; the stuff you find in the baking aisle of most supermarkets simply won’t do. If you’d like to add a little booze, omit the vanilla and substitute an equal quantity of an orange or coffee liqueur (other varieties might work, too, but remember you need to factor in delicacy of the milk chocolate here). It’s important not to overbeat the cream once you’ve added the chocolate mixture, as doing so will make the mousse stiff or can give it a curdled appearance.

Yield: 10-12 portions

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces best-quality milk chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 ounce best-quality semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • Few grains of salt
  • 3 Tbsp. very hot water
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Method:

Chill medium bowl and beater(s) for a handheld electric mixer for at least 20 minutes.

In medium microwaveable bowl, combine finely chopped chocolates and salt. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for one minute; stir thoroughly. Continue microwaving at 50% (medium) power for further short intervals, stirring very well after each, until chocolate is almost melted. Continue stirring until chocolate is melted and smooth. All at once, add hot water. Stir in well until blended and smooth (when you first add the hot water, chocolate will seize and clump; keep stirring it in, scraping bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Chocolate should smooth out as you keep stirring. If you simply cannot get it smooth, process at high speed in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade just until smooth.) Set chocolate mixture aside to cool to room temperature (if it is at all warm when added to the whipped cream, it can deflate it).

In chilled bowl with chilled beater(s), beat cream at high speed just until you can see traces of beater marks in the cream. All at once, add cooled chocolate mixture. Continue beating at high speed just until mousse holds a soft peak (chocolate mixture will probably not be entirely combined with cream at this point, but that’s OK). Working quickly, fold chocolate mixture into cream with a rubber spatula just until mousse is of an even color.

Portion mousse into small ramekins or small stemmed glasses. Chill at least two hours, covering tightly when cold. To serve, garnish each portion with a bit of shaved or grated milk chocolate or a few small milk chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator for up to a few days; freeze for longer storage.

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