Mousse au chocolat belge
Belgian Chocolate Mousse

A truly superior mousse au chocolat is always welcome. It’s perfect for any occasion, or even for no occasion at all. Use the best quality ingredients and take your time. The quantities seem a bit wacky due to the conversion from metric. If you have a metric scale, by all means use it.

7.5 ounces (200 g.) high quality dark bittersweet Belgian chocolate, like Côte d’Or (70% cocoa is perfect)
½ cup (125 g.) heavy whipping cream
5 fresh organic eggs (room temperature)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (20 g.) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30 g.) powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons coffee extract or 1 tablespoon very strong espresso
optional (1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, like Kahlua)

 

FOR THE CHANTILLY CREAM TOPPING
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1–2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or you can use vanilla sugar instead of these last two ingredients)
dash of salt
optional (chocolate for grating)

 

 

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it over very low heat or in a double boiler over simmering water. You may also use a microwave. The safest method will always be the double boiler. Once melted, slowly stir in the cream and remove from heat. Let cool a bit.

In the meantime, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow and creamy. This may take longer than you think. Don’t skimp on this step.

Beat the egg whites with the confectioners’ sugar and salt until stiff and glossy.

Add the slightly cooled espresso or the coffee extract (and coffee liqueur, if using—I generally don’t) to the chocolate mixture.

Pour the chocolate into the egg–sugar mixture, scraping bowl with a spatula. Mix well.

Very delicately, using a wooden spoon, fold in the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, being careful to not deflate your egg whites.

Pour into a large serving bowl, individual ramekins, or glasses, and cover. Chill for at least two hours, though your mousse will set better if you leave it overnight. This is a great dessert for a dinner party because you should make it the day before.

Just before serving, beat the remaining cream with the sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt until it forms soft peaks.

Top each serving of mousse with a dollop of the chantilly cream and grate some dark chocolate on top if you’d like.

 

There are many variations on this recipe and they are all delicious. But sometimes, simple is better.

 

9781496700230In this warm, engaging debut novel, four siblings make their way home, where their father, the memory of their mother, and long-held family secrets all collide just in time for Christmas.

For Maggie Arnaud and her siblings, childhood Christmases meant lavish feasts and beloved rituals. The day began with hot chocolate and cougnole de Noel—the sweet, rich bread traditional in their parents’ native Belgium. Those special holidays ended with their mother’s death, and their father has grown more distant each year. But now, he has summoned his grown children once again. And none of them is eager to expose their imperfect lives to his scrutiny…

Jacqueline is an opera singer living in Brussels—outwardly successful but yearning for a deeper fulfillment. Near Philadelphia, cookbook writer Maggie’s career and marriage are in turmoil. Colette, an aspiring clothing designer in California, lost her boyfriend and her savings in one blow. And roving younger brother Art is still searching for something—or someone. Armed with their insecurities, rivalries—and their mother’s most delicious recipes—the Arnauds gather in Pennsylvania. But a good meal does more than feed the body—it awakens memories, nurtures bonds, and might even bring a family back together.

Includes classic Belgian recipes

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