As we head into the busy holiday season I wanted to post a recipe for this quick and easy dessert that will carry you through – from fancy dinner parties to cozy TV suppers. This is a great way to round out a meal with a small taste of rich chocolate and that all important hint of booze. Your gluten free guests can indulge too – chocolate, cognac, eggs, fleur de sel and sugar – five pantry ingredients that you can whip up into the perfect dessert the night before your party – will set overnight in the refrigerator. There’s no need for cream or flour or anything else – this dessert is naturally light and airy.
This is based on Elizabeth David’s chocolate mousse recipe probably based on a French recipe that every Frenchwomen knows how to make effortlessly! Elizabeth David is one of my favorite British cookbook authors – she writes beautifully and introduced a generation of Brits to the delights of French country cooking. Here I’ve added more Frenchness – cognac – and also wouldn’t be the same without a sprinkling of edible glitter – just for you Kathy at Vintageweave – getting my Glitteritis on! Thinking you will have the perfect vintage French aperitif glasses to serve this in – I’m a little tired of my pink IKEA votives, although they have served me well over the years.
I can’t stress enough how easy this is – so easy a kid can make it – and mine do. Here’s a KitchnFlix episode with Minty and Rémy making a variation of this recipe – Maman’s Mousse au Chocolate – no cognac and half the ingredients. I can’t get over how small they are – it’s over four years ago – so if a 5 and 7 year old can do this effortlessly then so can you!
3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
3 1/2 oz semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Champagne cognac (I like Rémy Martin 1738) (replace with espresso if you don’t want to use alcohol)
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
Pinch of fleur de sel
1 tablespoon of sugar, preferably bakers sugar
What to do:
1. In a large bowl melt the chocolate in the microwave (or over a pan of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl). Be careful not to overheat. Add the cognac.
2. Separate the eggs. I like to crack all the eggs into a large bowl and then gently lift out the yolks, letting all the whites drip back into the bowl through your fingers and the yolk remain perfectly formed in your hand before transferring it into a mixing bowl.
3. In the stand mixer bowl whisk the egg whites with the salt until they are just beginning to get white and frothy. Add the sugar. Whisk until they form shiny stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whip or the whites will separate and there’s no going back (if this happens discard and start again).
4. Stir in a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it up.
5. Add the rest of the whites in two lots and fold in until fully combined, balancing between being thorough and not overworking. If the chocolate isn’t properly blended the chocolate can sink to the bottom. If it is over mixed there won’t be any air left leaving a heavy chocolate sauce.
6. Ladle the mixture into little glasses and refrigerate for several hours to set.
Top with edible glitter. Pairs well with whipped cream, raspberries and lots more cognac! Cheers!
Warning: This recipe contains raw egg – my children have always eaten it and so far they have never got sick but if you are concerned about this let them eat the chocolate chips raw and be happy!