March 9, 2012

Instant (two-ingredient) chocolate mousse

This recipe was one that I just had to try.  It's one of those things that catches your eye and captures your attention (if you're me, that is).  I mean, did they say two-ingredient chocolate mousse?  Does that really say "instant", as in about 5 minutes to prepare?  Really? 
It was during one of my daily visits to that I saw this post on 2-ingredient chocolate mousse.  It was like their post on 1-ingredient ice cream using bananas.  I had to try that and it really worked, and this was the same kind of thing that I had to try.  It's no secret that I love chocolate and chocolate mousse is probably one of the most direct (and decadent) ways to enjoy chocolate as a dessert.  I love the recipe for French chocolate mousse but here, we're talking no egg whites, no cream, or any other kind of additional dairy.  Plus, no waiting for it to set.  We're talking chocolate and...water!  You could add some sugar to ease up on the bittersweet flavor but essentially, it involves two ingredients and whisking over an ice bath.
But before anyone (that would be myself) gets too excited, I want to cut to the chase.  I made this mousse and as promised, it does work.  The texture is indeed quite smooth in your mouth but there's a lot that I personally did not enjoy about this mousse.  As a serious chocolate lover, this mousse was too intense even for me.  The recipe specifically calls for using chocolate with 70% cacao (maybe it works with another type of chocolate but the recipe is fairly specific) and the overall result is a very strong flavor, almost like eating chocolate liqueur.  Secondly, the mousse comes together quickly (roughly 5 minutes or so if you actually have the arm strength to whisk continuously) but sets even quicker.  Quite literally, you have a flowing mousse one minute and a thick, dense scoop practically seconds later.  You barely have time to pour them into serving glasses before it sets.  So sadly, I won't be making this again based on my personal taste but no doubt there are others out there who would enjoy it.

I had a little mishap during this instant chocolate mousse experiment.  I meant to make half the recipe (like I usually do) but realized as I was stirring the chocolate and water together that I used half the chocolate but not half the amount of water!  So I ended up making the entire recipe, which was way too much for the 3 (practically 2 1/2) of us.  It says the recipe serves 4 but I'd say at least 6.  We're talking over 9 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, or over 2 large bars.  The flavor is seriously intense so if you're a chocolate purist and feel up for it, plan on small servings, and have some whipped cream and a tall glass of water (for drinking) ready.

The process is really simple.  Take 9.35 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate; the recipe specifies 70% cacao.  Place it in a saucepan with a cup of water.  You can add up to 4 tablespoons of sugar to sweeten the bittersweet flavor.  I added half of that and I'm sure more would not have hurt since it was very bittersweet.  Interesting, you could also add a liqueur like Grand Marnier as long as you substitute it with the water.  That is, if you add a tablespoon of liqueur, subtract a tablespoon of water from the recipe.  Melt the chocolate and water together over medium heat and then pour over a bowl set on top of a larger bowl that's been filled with ice and cold water. 
Now use a large whisk and whisk until it turns into mousse.  Here I go!
This is a serious work out.  As long as your bowl is touching the ice (i.e., it's cold), it comes together in about 5 minutes or so.  Including breaks to rest my arm, I'd say it took me about ten minutes.  Then watch out, once it starts to come together, it's ready in a heartbeat and you don't want over-whip it or it gets grainy.
Remove the smaller bowl from the ice and work very quickly to transfer the mousse to your serving ups because it will set up/harden within a minute flat. 
Prepare yourself for an intense bittersweet chocolate experience.  It has a great mouth fell to it, very smooth on the tongue but it was really too strong for me personally.  Amazingly though, our 6-year old liked it and actually ate his all up (it was a much smaller custard cup).  I was pretty surprised that his young palate would like such an intense bittersweet flavor.


If you think this is something you might enjoy, visit this webpage for the recipe.

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