I think chocolate – I eat chocolate – and – I crave chocolate all the time. I don’t know what it is, but I think chocolate is addicting. I have to admit I don’t care for the really cheap chocolate, because they lack the cocoa that makes chocolate so good in the first place. I know chocolate is not everyone’s favorite. Like my wife doesn’t like it at all. It’s really too bad because they say chocolate is an aphrodisiac.
Chocolate Makes You Happy
Let’s be serious here – Chocolate has some great health benefits. Whether it’s the flavonoids or the antioxidants, chocolate has much more health benefits than any other candy. Other benefits include reduced bad cholesterol, blood thinning properties, lower blood pressure, it may even prevent diabetes. And according to one study chocolate makes you feel good, what about that! Did I mention it’s good for your skin, too. Though one thing is important here. To get all the health benefits of chocolate one should stick to the dark one. I know – milk chocolate tastes sooo much better, that’s because of the sugar. So stick with dark chocolate.
My First Love
Chocolate mousse was one of the first desserts I learned to make when I was in my apprentice ship more than twenty years ago. Fond memories remind me when we created coffee chocolate mousse filled in homemade chocolate cups for 500 people. It was then and still is my culinary passion that drove me through the gastronomic craziness (in a positive way). With great excitement did me and my colleagues looked at our upcoming catering functions. The more functions we had the more hyped we became. Just before serving each course everyone was highly focused, one could hear a needle drop. Once the dinner is completed a feeling of relief and happiness as well as a sense of achievement kicks in. A great feeling it is – to serve our guest whether it’s in our own dining room or in a restaurant.
I remember creating the chocolate cups from scratch, which in today’s fast environment would be uneconomical. It’s much easier and cheaper to buy them now. Nonetheless we blew up 500 balloons the size of a fist, a bit smaller maybe. We would than dip each balloon a little more than half way into tempered chocolate. The balloon is than rested on a with wax paper fitted tray or marble table. For certain customer request we would dip the still wet chocolate balloons into coconut flakes, caramelized almonds or pistachios. Once the chocolate is completely cold and hardened, the balloons would be popped and carefully pulled off. Nowadays these chocolate cups are available at a very low price. So there is no reason to spend hours to make your own chocolate cups even though it is very rewarding. This particular coffee chocolate mousse recipe I made for my parents on their 75 birthday. However as you can see I didn’t use chocolate cups for this Coffee chocolate mousse.
Why not make a White Coffee Chocolate Mousse?
I like this particular chocolate mousse because it is infused with real coffee beans. The coffee beans are submerged in the heavy cream overnight or even better for 24 hours. This process will give the heavy cream a full coffee flavor. Later the cream is strained, whipped and carefully incorporated into the chocolate mousse. This process works also fantastic with a white coffee chocolate mousse. In case anyone cares for white chocolate mousse, it’s necessary to add 2 sheets of gelatine. Otherwise the mousse wouldn’t set properly. That’s because white chocolate has by far less cocoa butter than milk or dark chocolate. I’ll be happy to post the recipe for white coffee chocolate mousse for anyone interested.
- 10 oz / 300 g milk chocolate
- 10 oz /300 g dark chocolate
- 8 eggs divided
- 3 oz / 85 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- 1.5 fl oz coffee liquor
- ¾ qt heavy cream
- 1 cup whole coffee beans
- 2 cups dark cherries
- 2 cups assorted berries
- 1½ cups cherry juice (the juice that came with the cherries)
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch
- 1.5 fl oz cherry liquor
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- sprigs of mint
- In the morning or the night before starting the mousse soak coffee beans in the heavy cream. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator.
- Break up both chocolates into small pieces. Pour chocolates in a bowl and place over a bowl with hot water (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit / 50 degrees Celsius. Stir often with a wooden spoon.
- Beat egg yolks, half of the sugar, and coffee liquor in a double boiler. This time the water should be almost simmering. Beat egg yolks until they become foamy like a Sabayon / Zabaione. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
- In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites. Once egg whites are half way stiff add the remaining sugar. Continue to whisk until stiff peak is achieved and keep cool.
- Strain heavy cream from the coffee beans and whip with vanilla sugar until stiff, set aside in a cool place.
- Pour chocolate into the egg mixture and incorporate.
- Slowly fold in whipped cream with a whisk.
- Gently incorporate the egg whites with a spatula. It’s important to fold in the airy egg whites carefully so the mousse stays very light.
- Chill chocolate mousse for at least 4-6 hours or until set.
- Heat cherry juice until simmering.
- Mix cornstarch with a little bit of water until a liquid paste develops.
- Add cornstarch to simmering cherry juice, keep whisking until the juice starts to thicken. Let it come to a boil once.
- Incorporate liquor, cinnamon, cherries and berries, let cool.
- Once the mousse is set it can be easily piped through a pastry bag into glasses or spooned onto a plate. Add the cherry berry compote and decorate to your heart’s content.
What was your first dessert you learned to cook?
Do you like chocolate?
Do you have a favorite way of making a chocolate mousse?