You can't go wrong with a chocolate mousse. Most everyone likes chocolate and a mousse is light with just the right amount of sweetness...
Use a fine quality chocolate for a rich tasting mousse. The higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the denser and richer the mousse - most contain about 60 percent. If your chocolate mousse is dense enough, you can use a pastry bag to pipe it into your serving dishes for a more decorative look.
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Chocolate Mousse Recipe
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.
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
7 oz chopped, bittersweet baking chocolate
Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, stirring continuously, until hot. Stir together yolks, and sugar, in a glass or metal bowl until combined well, then slowly add hot cream, mixing until combined. Pour mixture into saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, to 160°F. Pour through fine-meshed sieve into clean bowl. Add vanilla, stir and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave (use glass bowl), at half the power 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Whisk together custard and chocolate until smooth. Cool.
In a bowl, mix remaining 1 1/4 cups cream with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Lightly beat, 1/4 of cream into custard, then gently fold in remaining cream until cream is not visible.
Spoon mousse into serving dishes. Cover and chill overnight or for 7 hours. Serves 8.
Garnish suggestions: whipped cream, chocolate shavings, cookie sticks, and strawberries.
Can be prepared 24 hours in advance.
Optional flavors: Substitute the vanilla with one of the following
2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder (dissolve it in the hot cream)
Stir following into custard -
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons cognac
2 tablespoons amaretto