When restaurants tell me that they don’t have any gluten free desert options I often bemoan the poor unfashionable chocolate mousse. So popular in the seventies and eighties you would be hard pushed to find this on a menu now days. This is a tragedy as chocolate mousse (provided the chocolate used is GF) is gluten free, and when made with good quality ingredients it can be a silky smooth, intensely chocolaty delight.
If you are cooking at home mousses is a great dinner party desert as you make it in advance and pop it in the fridge to be served at your leisure. It is also a fairly simple process that uses few ingredients.
This recipe is from the gorgeous My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz, I got this book for Christmas and having sat down and read it cover to cover over the winter I am now working my way through the recipes. I recently had the opportunity to hear David Lebovitz speak at the Ballymaloe Lit fest and he was engaging, enthusiastic and gave a great insight in to cooking and food writing. His blog is always a pleasure to read and his love of food, from sourcing good ingredients to cooking to importance of food in how we socialise, whether in our homes or in restaurants is evident in everything he writes.
The quantity here will fill 6 glasses and the amount is a perfect portion size. I topped my mousse with a thin layer of chilled un-whipped double cream and it was delicious.
Salted Butter Caramel Mousse
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
• 180ml heavy cream
• 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped. I used 2 ounces of 35% chocolate and 4 ounces of 70% chocolate
• 4 large eggs, separated
• 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Place a wide bottomed pan over a medium heat and add the sugar, spread it our so it covers the base of the pan.
- Heat the sugar until it starts to melt and liquefy and then use a spatula to very gently pull the melted sugar towards the centre of the pan. Take your time, don’t be tempted to stir the sugar or raise the heat or you will end up with a burnt sugary lump. Don’t be worried if the sugar starts t turn sandy it will melt into caramel if you are patient.
- Allow the sugar to cook until it has all melted and stir gently until the liquid sugar starts to turn a deep golden caramel
4. Wait until the caramel starts to smell just slightly burnt and then remove the pan from the heat.
5. Whisk in the cubed butter, stirring until it has completely melted.
6. Gradually whisk in the cream. Your caramel may seize at this point but keep whisking and eventually the hard caramel will melt in to the cream. My caramel was being difficult so I put the pan over a very low heat until the caramel melted. If there are small pieces of caramel that refuse to melt then you can strain the caramel through a sieve in to a bowl.
7. When you have a smooth caramel stir in the chopped chocolate, now I don’t know it is because I strained the caramel in to a cold bowl or because I didn’t so much chop as break my chocolate in to squares but my caramel chocolate mix started to cool before all of the chocolate melted so I popped the bowl over a pan of hot water and stirred until the chocolate melted.
8. Once the chocolate has melted and been incorporated in to the caramel allow the mix to cool to room temperature.
9. Whisk in the egg yolks.
10. Beat the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until they are stiff and then take one third of the whites and fold in to the chocolate caramel with the ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. This will loosen the mixture.
11. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
12. Spoon the mousse in to your serving glasses and place in the fridge to chill for at least eight hours.
Being slightly pushed for time I served my mousse after five hours and they were still delicious but having had two spare that stayed in the fridge over night before they were scoffed I would say leave the mousse to chill as long as you can.