Active: 20 minutes | Total: 2 hours 20 minutes | Serves: 8
French for “foam” or “froth,” mousse is well known as a dessert but can be a sweet or savory dish served at any temperature. After being imported from the Americas, chocolate’s popularity grew as European chefs began cooking with it during the 1600s.
1 tablespoon Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 teaspoon gelatin
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs, separated
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1∕8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, raspberries and/or chocolate shavings for garnish
1. Combine Chambord and milk in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin on top and let stand to soften.
2. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving in 30-second increments on High until two-thirds of the chocolate has melted, stirring well after each burst.
3. Bring 1-inch water to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine egg yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a metal bowl large enough to rest in the pan without touching the water. Set the bowl over the water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the gelatin mixture and whisk until it dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in the chocolate and vanilla.
4. Beat egg whites in a clean large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (see Tip). Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and continue beating until the mixture holds stiff, shiny peaks.
5. Whisk one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until smooth. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture just until incorporated. Divide among 8 dessert dishes (about 1/2 cup each).
6. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with whipped cream, raspberries and/or chocolate shavings, if desired.
Tip: Soft peaks are egg whites that are beaten until thickening but still soft enough to curl when beaters are turned upside down. For stiff peaks, keep beating just until the whites are stiff and upright.