One of my Christmas gifts from Xander was a new cookbook, Paris Pastry Club. I love baking, but my current repertoire is largely classics. Brownies, cookies, cakes…you get the gist. This book is mostly made up of French classics with some other outside-of-the-box recipes mixed in. I’ve made three things from it so far and two have been outstanding. It’s been really exciting to bake from PPC because it’s so far outside of my normal. I’m getting to try new techniques, hone ones I already know but have little use for, and get fresh ideas for meals and dinner parties. As a (hobby) baker it’s been wonderfully stretching.
The first recipe I made was the chocolate mousse. Xander and I hosted another couple for a four-course, sit down dinner party on New Year’s Eve. The dinner was delicious, but a bit heavy so I wanted something for dessert that wasn’t going to push us all into a food coma for the next few hours while we waited for the ball to drop. The chocolate mousse from PPC fit the bill perfectly.
I’ve made chocolate mousse several times with varied results. Sometimes good, sometimes a tad grainy, sometimes not chocolaty enough. This recipe was totally on point. Light and airy with a velvety texture and a strong chocolaty flavor. All you could ask for. If you ask me.
A note before trying: the author of the book is European and thus all recipe ingredients are listed in grams (and ounces). I recommend using a scale rather than trying to convert to cups. It’s infinitely more accurate and actually much easier. Xander recently order one (for his current culinary obsession: pasta) and it’s been such a game changer. I grew up baking with a scale and when I left the nest it was one of those things that never seemed worth the money. However, I’m changing my tune. If you do a lot of baking and don’t already own one I highly recommend one. There are many out there, but this is the one we got and I absolutely love it. Of course, that’s so surprise. OXO is consistently my favorite brand for kitchen utensils.
Adapted from Paris Pastry Club
75 g (2 ½ oz) 60% dark chocolate
25 g (1 oz) 40% milk chocolate
150 g (5 oz) whipping cream
25 g (1 oz) sugar
25 g (1 oz) water
2 egg yolks
Put the bowl you’re going to whip the cream in into the freezer 10 minutes before you start. Melt both chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. In the meantime, whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside in the fridge. It will look slightly under whipped.
Once the chocolate is melted, keep it warm over the pot of hot water. Next, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pot. At the same time, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl using either an electric or stand mixer. Once the sugar is completely dissolved into the water, pour the piping hot syrup over the egg yolks a little at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the syrup is incorporated, whisk for 3-4 minutes, or until thick and holds soft peaks.
Now that all the elements are ready, use a whisk to mix half the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and shiny. Still using the whisk, fold in the remaining cream. When the white streaks just start to disappear, add the egg yolk mixture and incorporate gently. Starting from the center of the bowl and going up the side, turning the bowl clockwise as you do so.
At this point, the mousse should look almost even in color. Switch to a spatula and give it a few more stirs. Divide between 4 small bowls and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
The author recommends putting the bowl and whisk you're going to use for whipping the cream in the freezer for a few minutes before you get started. It whips faster and in a more stable way. I found that to be true and will likely use this tip in the future when I'm whipping cream.
I prepped the bowls I was going to serve the mousse in so they would be easy to grab and fill when I was ready. I covered the whole thing in plastic wrap before putting in the fridge.
I used a large cookie scoop to get the mousse into bowls with minimal mess. Ok, maybe not minimal. But, less than if had tried to spoon it in.