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imageI love bistro style food and my favourite French dessert, is one that you  find in every bistro in France – rich, dark chocolate mousse.  My search for the perfect, most luscious and intense chocolate mousse brought me right back to my mother’s old recipe. Although I have a few other chocolate mousse recipes in my repertoire, her recipe is a classic and has that perfect rich yet light flavour that sticks to your taste-buds, then hits you with a wallop of pure dark chocolate flavor. Although this version has an intense chocolate flavour and richness, it is not dense as we include the whipped egg whites to lighten the mousse and give it a beautiful airiness.  As the recipe is classic French, it uses raw eggs. Some people are concerned about raw eggs, but there really is no need to be. When I make anything that uses uncooked eggs, I use the freshest eggs I can get my hands on. Also, since the flavor of the mousse depends on good chocolate, make sure to buy a good brand; you won’t regret it. For today’s recipe I used up a tablet of dark, bittersweet Belgian chocolate and melted it with Cointreau along with good, strong coffee. Yum!

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This is the same mousse as above but seeing as I was serving it for Easter dessert, I cut a chocolate egg in two and placed my mousse in the egg before placing in the refrigerator overnight. Just before serving, I shaved some white and dark chocolate on the top. Delicious!

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients:

115 g / 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
30 ml / 2 tablespoons freshly brewed strong coffee
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
30 ml / 2 tablespoons Cointreau
15 ml / 1 tablespoon Armagnac or Cognac
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
85 g / 6 tablespoons butter, diced at room temperature
4 eggs, separated, at room temperature (you only need 2 whites)
1/4 cup sugar – divided into two
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

In a medium to large bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt together the chocolate, coffee, coffee powder, Cointreau, Armagnac and vanilla extract stirring until smooth
Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool
Beat in the softened butter
Place the egg yolks and half the sugar in a bowl and beat at high speed for about 5 minutes (use an electric mixer if possible)
Add the chocolate mixture while on low speed
In a separate bowl, beat the 2 egg whites with the salt until frothy
Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape
Whip in the remaining sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff
Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula
Then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume
Pour into a large serving dish or 5 ramekins
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight
The chocolate mousse can be refrigerated for up to 5 days
Decorate with whipped cream or chocolate shavings just before serving
Bon Appétit!

 

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