Chocolate has a very rich history, from the discovery from the ancient Maya to the luxury drink of the Europeans, the flavor has been around for thousands of years. And chocolate contains the highest concentration- in any food- of phenylethylamine, which is the chemical produced in the brain when a person is in love J. So get ready for your family and friends to fall in love… with this decadent dessert!
Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 7 hr (includes chilling)
Servings: Makes 8 Servings
2 cups chilled heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream, and chocolate shavings
an instant-read thermometer
Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 150°F on thermometer. Then take it off the heat and pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.
Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.
Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.
• Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day.
• To vary the flavor, you can replace the 1 teaspoon vanilla with 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder (dissolve it in the hot cream) or 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 tablespoons Cognac (either one whisked into strained custard).
• Try adding a few raspberries or blackberries in the bottom of your glasses or ramekins to cut through the richness of the chocolate.
• Use stemmed martini glasses for a formal occasion.
• Many of the fine-quality bittersweet chocolates sold at supermarkets typically contain 50 to 60 percent cocoa solids. If you choose chocolate with a higher percentage, your mousse may be slightly denser.