Milk Chocolate Mousse
Tips: The majority of my creations are is in the realm of
darker chocolate, but sometimes you just want a milder chocolate
flavor. This is a rich, eggless mousse, best served after a light
meal. The chocolate you use must be of excellent quality, and remember
that if it is not smooth in bar form it won’t be smooth in
the finished product, either. It is important, too, to note that
milk chocolate, even fine-qualty milk chocolate, can be stubborn
about melting. If you cannot get your chocolate mixture smooth,
place it into the workbowl of a small food processor fitted with
a steel blade, and process on high speed for two “bursts”
of about 10 seconds each, stopping in between to scrape down the
workbowl with a rubber spatula.
I divide the mousse among ramekins of half-cup capacity, leaving
some headroom on each for a garnish. Once made, this will keep for
up to four days in the fridge, if tightly wrapped, but do not freeze
it. Don’t worry about the use of unsweetened chocolate here;
the small amount is just a bit of a chocolate boost for color and
Yield: 4 servings
- 4 ounces fine-quality milk chocolate, very finely chopped
- 1/2 ounce fine-quality unsweetened chocolate, very finely chopped
- Few grains of salt
- 3 Tbsp. hot water
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1-1/2 tsp. sifted or strained confectioners’
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Optional: 1 tsp. coffee OR orange liqueur OR light rum
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Optional: lightly sweetened whipped cream
- Milk chocolate shavings or curls
Have ready 4 ramekins or other serving dishes of about one-half
cup capacity (a little smaller is OK). Into refrigerator, place
small mixing bowl and beater(s) from a handheld electric mixer.
As an option, have ready a small pitcher or liquid measuring cup
of about 2-cup capacity for ease in pouring out the mousse.
In small heatproof bowl, combine finely chopped chocolates and
salt. Place over warm water on low heat (water should not touch
bottom of bowl); stir frequently until almost melted. Remove from
heat and hot water; stir until melted and smooth. (Alternatively,
chocolates and salt can be placed in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave
at medium (50%) power for short intervals, stirring thoroughly after
each, just until melted and smooth.)
To melted chocolate mixture, add hot water, confectioners’
sugar, vanilla, and optional alcohol. Stir or whisk well to blend.
If mixture is not perfectly smooth, place in workbowl of food processor
fitted with steel blade; process in two “bursts” of
about 10 seconds each, stopping between bursts to scrape down workbowl
with rubber spatula. Turn chocolate mixture back into small bowl
for ease in pouring.
Cool chocolate mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally
(this won’t take long, but it must be done; if the chocolate
mixture is at all warm, it will deflate the whipped cream. Test
the temperature on the inside of your wrist).
In small chilled bowl with chilled beater(s), beat heavy cream
at high speed just until traces of beater marks show in the cream.
Work quickly from now on. All at once, add cooled chocolate mixture
to cream. Beat at a low speed for a few seconds to incorporate,
then increase speed to high and beat just to soft peak stage.
If the chocolate mixture is not fully incorporated into the cream,
it’s OK. Stop beating, and fold the chocolate mixture gently
into the cream with a rubber spatula until the mousse is an even
color (be sure to fold up from the bottom, as the chocolate mixture
likes to hide there). Check how the mousse is peaking; if it isn’t
at soft peak stage anymore (this happens sometimes), beat at high
speed just until it is. Do not overbeat, or mousse will have a curdled
appearance. Still working quickly (the mousse will probably begin
to set up as you’re working with it—OK), transfer the
mousse to the optional pitcher, if desired. Portion it out among
the ramekins. If it becomes too set to pour, use a spoon to scoop
it into each ramekin. Level the top of the mousse in each ramekin,
Chill for at least two hours, covering tightly when cold. Serve
topped with milk chocolate shavings or curls; if desired, for color
contrast, top each ramekin with a spoonful of lightly sweetened
whipped cream before adding the milk chocolate garnish.
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