- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 7 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
- 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
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Active Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish: 45 minutes
Heat ¾ cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50% power for 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.
Beat the remaining 1¼ cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of the whipped cream into the chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in the remaining cream gently but thoroughly.
Spoon the mousse into 8 (6 ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day.
To vary the flavor, you can replace the 1 tsp. vanilla with 2 tsp. instant espresso powder (dissolve it in the hot cream) or 3 Tbs. Grand Marnier or 2 Tbs. Cognac (either one whisked into strained custard.)
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