Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse (Mousseline au Chocolat)
Today is Julia Child’s 100th birthday! Love that woman--all that she was and all that she did for the culinary world or just people who love food. (Who doesn’t love food?)
I decided to make one of her signature dishes and naturally chose a dessert and chocolate! You can’t just “whip up” the chocolate mousse. After reading through the recipe, I realized and decided this was the kind of recipe where “mise en place” really was necessary. With two different pots of simmering water on the stove, a bowl of cold water, the stand mixer ready (and used twice during the making of the mousse), as well as having all the ingredients measured and ready, I was right on track for my first mousse making ever.
Mise en place for chocolate mousse
After beating the egg yolks and sugar in the mixer until a pale yellow color of slowly dissolving ribbons were formed, I added my replacement of Grand Marnier (we don’t drink or use alcohol) using 2 ounces of Torani chocolate flavoring syrup. I then removed 1/2 teaspoon of that and added 1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract. I think it was a perfect non-alcoholic substitution.
The mixture was ready for its stint in a bowl over simmering water. I whisked it for six minutes, also taking a quick-as-I-could break to quickly wash the mixer bowl and get it ready for egg whites.
I moved the bowl from the heat to the cold water bath and kept on whisking. All the while on the other side of the burners I added the chocolate to the double boiler and instead of coffee (we don’t use or drink coffee either) I just used water. Whisking egg yolks and sugar in one bowl and stirring chocolate until it was melted in another. Thank goodness for two hands!
I removed the yolks from the water bath and let them sit for a few minutes while I stirred the butter in to the melted chocolate a little at a time. That resulted in a wonderfully smooth and rich chocolate mixture!
The chocolate was then poured into the egg yolk mixture and whisked together in to the beginnings of a wonderful mousse.
Somewhere during all that, I turned on the mixer with the waiting egg whites and a pinch of salt in it. Thank goodness the mixer got to help out with a few things or my left arm might have fallen off. ;)
Looks like there’s gold in that thar mousse (bad lighting photo moment)! The mousse was ready for a little chillin’ in the fridge.
I decided to take part of the mousse and freeze it, because one of the biggest reasons I settled on making the chocolate mousse in honor of the late and beloved Julia Child is having seen Angie at Big Bear's Wife's Frozen Chocolate Mousse, also made in tribute to Julia.
A few hours later, the mousse was ready for its photo session. I’m not all about how fancy my photos look (yes, I’m sure you noticed), a couple scoops of frozen mousse, which scooped beautifully, were dished up and ready for the camera.
A couple things are for sure, the mousse is delicious and it’s super rich. A little scoop will do ya.
I do love the way it froze and that it wasn’t too hard to scoop. This is the kind of treat I love just having a spoonful of and I’m good on a chocolate fix for at least an hour. ;) hehe
Maybe I shoulda coulda fancied it up with some whipped cream, but I just thought it didn’t really need it. If I was having company over for some mousse, I would have done so and it for sure needs a couple raspberries on the side—but having made it just for the experience of making the recipe, it wasn’t necessary.
Here’s the recipe as I made it--
Chocolate Mousse (non-alcoholic and coffee-free), adapted from Julia Child, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) Torani chocolate flavoring syrup, minus 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
6 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60%)
4 tablespoons room temperature water
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 pot of simmering water
double boiler with about 1 inch of simmering water
1 bowl of cold water
In a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar together. Mix until it is a pale yellow color and forms slowly dissolving ribbons. Beat in the chocolate flavoring/orange extract mixture. Put the egg yolk mixture into a bowl that fits over the simmering water. Set the bowl over the simmering pot and whisk it vigorously for 5-7 minutes until it is foamy and hot.
Remove the bowl from the hot water and set it into the bowl of cold water. Whisk it for five minutes until the mixture is cool. Take a few seconds to quickly wash the mixing bowl and get it ready to whip the egg whites.
In the double boiler, melt the chocolate with the 4 tablespoons of water. Once it is all melted and combined, remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time until it is smooth and creamy.
Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
Turn the mixer on and beat at high speed until soft peaks are formed, also adding the pinch of salt. Sprinkle in the one tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
Stir a little bit of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest of the egg whites. Refrigerate the mousse in a covered container in the fridge for a couple hours or you can also freeze the mousse in an airtight container for 3-4-5 hours. Serve in small dishes.
I put the mousse into a piping bag with a large tip and piped it into the dishes. No matter how you serve it, grab and spoon and dig in! It may seem a little daunting to some to think of all the steps to making this, but it really did help to have everything ready and there really wasn’t anything difficult about each step, a few things just took a little arm muscle, but I can assure you, it’s worth it.
Happy 100th Birthday to Julia Child!