Last year I found a mouth-watering recipe for chocolate mousse on Debra Fioritto Weber’s Guide to French Cuisine website. I have tried this recipe again and again on friends and family members, and “first-timers” have always been completely taken aback when I inform them that the mousse has no added sugar. I repeat, no added sugar. The only sugar in this recipe is contained in the type of chocolate that you use. Therefore, the darker the chocolate, the better. And by omitting sugar, you can enjoy this mousse without worrying about feeding your myeloma or cancer cells. All you need for the recipe is: fresh whipping/heavy cream, good quality dark chocolate, a bit of salt (a bit of salt enhances the flavour of the chocolate) and a teaspoon of liquid vanilla or a liqueur of your choice.
The following will make enough (?) mousse for four people:
1. Heat 1/3 cup of whipping/heavy cream over high(ish) heat until it (almost) boils.
Finely chop 5 oz. (150 grams) of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. I use very dark chocolate to minimize the sugar content.
Now, Debra tells us to pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, and I know this is a common method used by patisserie chefs, but when I am in a hurry I just add the chopped chocolate to the cream heating up on the stove. I haven’t found that it makes a huge difference in terms of taste and consistency. Just make sure that you end up with a smooth and shiny mixture. Important: allow the chocolate cream to cool.
2. Once cooled, add 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt and also a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or a liqueur of your choice, just to give it a nice aftertaste). I make my own vanilla since it’s not a typical Italian sweet flavouring (not in liquid form, anyway).
3. Beat one cup of whipping/heavy cream (if you want a less solid mousse, use slightly more cream) until stiff peaks form. Add the cooled chocolate mixture slowly and beat on low speed until the mixture forms soft peaks. This will take a few seconds. Don’t overbeat, or the mousse will be too firm.
Pour the mixture into a pretty bowl or whatnot and chill until ready to serve. You can garnish the mousse with shaved chocolate curls, raspberries, mint leaves and so on. I suppose I should have thought of taking a photo of the mousse that I prepared yesterday, but my girlfriends came over to play cards after dinner, and between a laugh and a giggle we managed to polish off most of it. Oops!