Today is Adrien’s birthday and, I will be cooking tonight’s celebratory meal. While I am a big fan of birthday cake, he is not. So we are having a very un-birthday like dessert: chocolate mousse.
The absolute best chocolate mousse we have ever eaten was served at a lovely Paris restaurant in the Marais just a few blocks from Places de Vosges, Chez Janou. There is nothing quite so delightful as ending a wonderful meal with a giant copper bowl of chocolate mousse, trust me. This recipe from Martha Stewart comes pretty close to perfection, however, and it is fairly uncomplicated. Chocolately and light, forget counting calories. This is an indulgently rich dessert worthy of someone’s birthday.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 TBSP sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I substituted vanilla paste here)
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, 2 TBSP sugar, and 3/4 cup heavy cream. Cover over medium-low heat, stirring until mixture coats back of a spoon (3-4 minutes). Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat, whisk in melted chocolate and vanilla. Strain into a bowl. Chill until cool.
- With an electric mixer (I used my trusty stand mixer with the whisk attachment), beat remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream with remaining 2 TBSP sugar until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cooled custard mixture, then GENTLY FOLD (!) in the rest of the whipped cream with a spatula.
- Spoon into serving dishes, chill covered at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Or if you are dreaming of Chez Janou, put the mousse in a big serving bowl and enjoy the memories!
Happy Valentine’s Day! With Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the week this year, we decided to stay in, cook, and enjoy one of our favorite movies. Just because it was a quiet night, doesn’t mean the food didn’t need to be spectacular and this Lemon Mousse recipe from Ina Garten was a great finish to our meal. The most difficult part of the process was stirring the egg yolk mixture for 8-10 minutes, but after that, it came together easily.
See the original – and accompanying video here.
- 3 extra-large whole eggs
- 3 extra-large eggs, separated
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup good bottled lemon curd, at room temperature
- Sweetened Whipped Cream, recipe follows
- Sliced lemon, for garnish (I used raspberries – equally good)
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I purchased perfectly acceptable whipped cream from Whole Foods – not the stuff in the aerosol can!)
- In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook (NOTE: Get that water simmering before you start timing), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 to 12 minutes until the mixture is thick like pudding. Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.
- Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny. Carefully fold the beaten whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.
- Place the cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.
- Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture. Fold in the lemon curd, and pour into a deep bowl OR pipe smaller amounts into dishes.
- Top with whipped cream and lemon slices (or as I did, fresh raspberries)
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high-speed until the cream just forms still peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.