Thursday, August 13, 2009

Valrhona Chocolate Mousse

On the quest for the perfect chocolate, I finally discovered Valrhona. This chocolate is widely recommended in various cookbooks and blogs. So, when I saw it in my favorite gourmet store lately I picked up a 200g block of the 70% bittersweet Valrhona chocolate called Guanaja.

The taste is really superb, it has a really nice bitter note. But honestly, I probably wouldn't buy it as a regular chocolate bar, as the price is really steep. Buying it as a block is definitely more economical.

I have to admit though that my favorite chocolate for baking and desserts comes from a German discount store. Don't get me wrong, I am not cheap when it comes to chocolate, but this brand is really good. It even won several awards for its excellent quality. It is called Moser-Roth and their bittersweet variety comes in 70% and 85%. It is available at the discount store Aldi. I always bring back a bunch of them when I go back to Germany. Aldi is expanding and even has several stores in the US now, so you might even get the chocolate there.

I didn't just eat my whole block of Valrhona though. Thinking what I could use it for, I went through the book "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme" by Dorie Greenspan. This book is a chocolate lovers paradise with a wide range of recipes from the famous Parisian p√Ętissier. You will find cakes, cookies, tarts, custards and mousses, truffles, frozen desserts and chocolate drinks. Dorie Greenpan also gives great advice of how to do variations of different recipes.

I decided to make the Simple Chocolate Mousse. Usually when I made chocolate mousse I had always added whipped cream. This recipe doesn't call for any whipped cream, but it was very light and creamy.

If you don't have the book, you can also find the recipe at Serious Eats.

Simple Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme by Dorie Greenspan

- makes 6 servings -

6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup (80 grams) whole milk
1 large egg yolk
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over, not touching, simmering water or in the microwave oven. If necessary, transfer the chocolate to a bowl that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Keep the chocolate on the counter until needed. The chocolate should still feel warm to the touch when you’re ready to use it.

Bring the milk to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Using a small whisk, gently blend the milk into the chocolate. Add the egg yolk and whisk it into the chocolate, again working gently; stop when the yolk is incorporated.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed just until they hold soft peaks. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat the whites until they are firm but still glossy. Scoop one-third of the whites out of the bowl onto the chocolate mixture. Working with a whisk, beat the whites into the chocolate to lighten the mixture. Now, with either the whisk or a large flexible rubber spatula, delicately but thoroughly fold the rest of the beaten whites into the chocolate.

Turn the mousse into a large serving bowl, glass is very nice for this dessert, or into individual coupes or cups, and refrigerate for 1 hour to set.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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