We bring out the
WABAK machine Kitchen Aid and whip up some Moose! mousse. Chocolate mousse. With a twist. And an apology to my friend Peabody -- although I hope she's not the only one to get the reference!
Earlier this month Helene of Tartlette announced that the theme of this month's installment of Hay Hay it's Donna Day would be mousse -- and your heroine started some intensive internet research -- into obscure chocolate mousse recipes, and Rocky & Bullwinkle references...
I'll spare you all any more moose quotes (for now) and get straight to the recipe.
I knew I wanted chocolate. And that I wanted to play with spice. But a Google search for 'chocolate + chipotle' didn't provide inspiration. So I turned to a gem I recently uncovered at the local library: Robert Wolke's "What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained". A retired chemistry professor and syndicated columnist, Wolke provides the science behind the art of cooking in layman's terms -- and a fair amount of entertainment sprinkled in his education.
Hey Rocky... watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat...
And there it was, on page 30 -- the mousse recipe I wanted to try. Rich, intense chocolate flavor. With not an ounce of butterfat. No... Basque Chef Teresa Barrenechea of Manhattan's Marichu -- who Wolke credits as the brain behind the recipe -- uses olive oil to provide a subtle smoothness.
Hmmm... top quality chocolate, top quality olive oil, with a hint of chipotle to make it my own... Yes dear reader, I've found my contribution to HHDD 11.
Chipotle-Chocolate Velvet Mousse (adapted from What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained)
6 ounces high-quality semisweet dark chocolate, chopped. I used
3 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup powdered/confectioner's sugar, sifted after measuring
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (or 1/4 cup double-strength coffee at room temperature)
2 tablespoons creme de cacao
1 generous teaspoon chipotle powder
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in a microwave oven. Be careful what kind of bowl you use. My bowl -said- it was microwave-safe, but apparently the molten chocolate provided a bit too much thermal shock. Fortunately, chocolate is a staple in my kitchen... Short on disposable bowls? You can also use a double boiler to melt chocolate. Allow chocolate to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and confectioner's sugar with and electric mixer at medium speed. Add coffee, chipotle powder and creme de cacao; beat to combine. Reduce speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. Add the olive oil and mix well to ensure it is thoroughly incorporated.
3. Here the instructions suggest washing and drying the beaters thoroughly, ensuring they are completely free of oil before beating the egg whites. I tossed the stand mixer beater in a sink full of soapy water and pulled out the hand mixer. In another medium bowl, beat egg whites until nearly stiff. Using a whisk, fold the egg whites into the chocolate, 1/3 at a time, until all patches of white disappear. Do not over-mix.
4. Transfer mousse to a pretty bowl or individual dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
As I'm performing step 4 and eyeballing a sink full of dishes, I think perhaps this recipe's a lot of work for 6 somewhat small servings.
A couple of hours later -- after the dishes are done and Leeza Gibbons has made her graceful exit from the dance floor, I'm ready to grab a spoon and dig in. And I instantly reevaluate my assessment of the serving size. It's not heavy, but this is a very rich mouse. A cross between mousse and ganache. The chocolate hits you first. Followed by the chipotle warmth. It's sweet, with a savory tease that keeps it interesting. I decide immediately I'm going to make this again -- next time replacing the chipotle with a wasabi-ginger blend that's been languishing in my spice drawer waiting for the appropriate application.
Boris: How many u’s are in Moose?
Natasha: Let’s see M-U-S-E, two.
Update 24 April 2007 - check out 53 more creative applications of the mousse concept at Helene's Round Up of Hay Hay Donna Day 11 Entries. There's some fantastic stuff here!
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