Lindt Dark Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.
Chocolate seems to be the universal ingredient for most Valentine’s Day desserts. I think the first authentic chocolate mousse that I tasted was at Chez Toutoune in Paris, a charming little bistro that was tucked away on a tiny street (rue de Pontoise) on the Left Bank. I was student at the time, so finding an affordable prix fixe menu that promised a great meal was always a challenge, but Toutoune delivered every time. The four course meal ended with a choice of cheese plate or chocolate mousse, so it was never a difficult decision – “mousse au chocolat, s’il vous plait.” Madame Toutoune’s version was billowy, light, creamy, and intensely chocolate, just like the recipe below.
8 ounces Lindt Excellence Dark chocolate (70 percent cacao) chopped fine
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Cocoa powder, preferably Callebaut Dutch-processed
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
7 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Courvoisier
3 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup heavy cream, plus 2 more tablespoons (chilled)
1. Melt chocolate, 3 tablespoons sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, water, and cognac in medium heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat.
2. Whisk egg yolks, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and salt in medium bowl until mixture lightens in color and thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Pour melted chocolate into egg mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Let cool until slightly warmer than room temperature, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1 minute. Detach whisk and bowl from mixer and whisk last few strokes by hand, making sure to scrape any unbeaten whites from bottom of bowl. Using whisk, stir about one-quarter of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it; gently fold in remaining egg whites with rubber spatula until a few white streaks remain.
4. Whip heavy cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 15 seconds longer. Using rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into mousse until no white streaks remain. Spoon mousse into 6 to 8 individual serving dishes or goblets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set and firm, at least 2 hours. (The mousse may be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
5. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.