For Valentine’s Day! Or for your weekend, you do you.
A few nights ago Jay and I were ignoring each other on our devices before we fell asleep, as you do, and all of a sudden he was all “what should we do for Valentine’s Day?” I probably replied “I want to keep reading stop talking to me,” but honestly we don’t always do anything for Valentine’s Day. We definitely don’t exchange gifts, but we’ve done flowers and fun dates and cooked fun food together over the years. Valentine’s Day falls at a time of year where I’m travelling a lot on the weekends, and now that we have Beck we’d rather relax and enjoy family time with no work (the 7 days a week is getting awful), so I’m hopeful that’s what we’ll do this weekend leading up to the day.
One thing that I’m DEFINITELY putting on the plan, though, is a batch of this chocolate mousse. I’ve made several versions in the past, but I love a super plain eggs+sugar+chocolate version so much. This one from Boulder Locavore was my inspiration, and I made hardly any adjustments to the original recipe.
The ingredients here are so simple and the method isn’t hard in the slightest as long as you’re patient. You do need to know how to separate egg whites from egg yolks, but the rest of the recipe is waiting on the egg whites to beat and slowly melting chocolate, which I do right in the microwave. I use a combination of dark chocolate and semi-sweet, but you can use any kind that you like!
So, first! We need to separate the egg whites and yolks. The whites will go into the bowl of an electric mixer. There are tons of ways to separate eggs, but I do it by gently cracking the egg on the counter, then breaking the shell in half to make two little bowls. Then I move the yolk back and forth from half-shell to half-shell and let the white part of the yolk fall into the mixer bowl as I do that. The key is to go slowly and be sure the yolk doesn’t break; it’s better to have a little bit of white with the yolks than any yolk in the whites.
Set the egg yolks aside while you beat the egg whites.
Turn the mixer to medium-high and start to whip the egg whites, slowly at first, then increasing speed as you go. The time it takes for egg whites to whip depends a ton on your mixer, eggs, and the humidity in your house, so I hesitate to even say how long this will take. When the eggs are puffy and white, very slowly pour in the sugar and let the egg whites keep whipping.
When the egg whites and sugar are super glossy and stiff, turn off the mixer.
While the eggs whites are fluffing up (or right after this step if you have a handheld mixer), break the chocolate into small pieces in a microwave-proof bowl. You can use a double boiler, but I find a microwave works just fine.
Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds, then stir it. The first few times it may not look like anything is happening, but stir after every 30 seconds no matter what. When the chocolate is ALMOST melted, take it out of the microwave and keep stirring until the chocolate is totally melted, then stir for another minute or two to cool it slightly.
When the chocolate has cooled slightly, stir the egg yolks into the melted chocolate. Stir quickly so that the eggs don’t scramble if the chocolate happens to still be too hot.
So now we have a warm chocolate/egg yolk mixture and sweetened whipped egg whites. The key will now be to super carefully fold them together until the mixture is fairly smooth. Start by adding a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture.
Then, add everything from the chocolate bowl to the rest of the egg whites, and very carefully fold everything together. It’ll look strange at first, but stir gently and smoothly and in just a minute or two the mousse will come together.
I stir just until there are some streaks left, the mixture is smooth here but not perfectly uniform in color, which means I haven’t stirred too much.
As soon as the chocolate is incorporated into the egg whites, put the chocolate mousse into small dishes for serving and into the fridge to chill for several hours or even overnight.
THE TEXTURE. Once this mousse has chilled it gets nice and firm almost like a super light cheesecake, and the flavor from the two types of chocolate is so rich and delicious.
There is really no need to garnish this with anything, but I love whipping a little bit of fresh cream and throwing some berries into the dishes for fancy occasions. The tart fruit is a great contrast to the rich mousse and cream, and the berries look so pretty on top of the mousse.
So here we are! Lovely little portions of dessert that wasn’t hard at all to make (20 minutes or so minus the chilling, seriously), works every single time, and is so, so good.
I’m trying to figure out how to justify this for breakfast, and honestly this is way healthier than pancakes or some nonsense. Eggs are TOUTED as a perfect breakfast food and this is practically all eggs, so I’m thinking yes.
Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, you will definitely want to try these ASAP. Hell, make a big batch on Sunday and have dessert every day this week to celebrate being you!
That’s a Valentine’s plan for sure.
- 6 ounces baking chocolate (I use a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and berries, optional, for serving
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Place the egg whites into a large bowl (of a stand mixer if you have one), and set the egg yolks aside.
Using an electric mixer with beaters or a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites for several minutes until they triple in size. Slowly stream in the sugar, and continue to beat the eggs until the mixture is glossy and very stiff; peaks should stand up on their own.
Meanwhile (or right after this if you have a handheld mixer), break the chocolate into pieces and place into a microwaveable bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds, stir, then repeat until the chocolate is nearly melted (don't skip any stirring or the chocolate may burn). Remove the chocolate from the microwave and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes to completely melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly.
When the egg whites are finished and the chocolate has cooled just a bit, stir the egg yolks quickly into the chocolate to continue to cool the mixture without cooking the eggs. Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the chocolate and gently stir to combine.
Scoop the chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl with the rest of the egg whites. Carefully fold the chocolate into the egg whites several times, moving slowly and gently, until the mousse is smooth and nearly uniform in color.
Transfer the chocolate mousse to small serving dishes, and into the refrigerator. Chill for at least two hours or up to overnight.
Serve topped with whipped cream, extra chocolate shavings, and berries, if desired.
Adapted from https://boulderlocavore.com/traditional-french-chocolate-mousse-mousse-au-chocolat-recipe/