Triple chocolate mousse parfait

I was in the mood for a parfait recently and being the chocoholic that I am, I dug up a recipe I've long tagged for triple chocolate mousse.  It's got all the bases covered with milk chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate mousse all together in one glass.  
When I think parfait, I see layers of cold treats - anything from ice cream to pudding, custards, whipped cream, fruit, or even jello.  It might have made sense to go with something light and fruity given how incredibly hot it's been but you know me...I always think chocolate.  I know I really should have worked "chocolate" into the title of my blog since most of my recipes feature it!
Here's the rundown on this triple chocolate mousse.  It contains heavy cream and egg whites (no yolks). If using raw egg whites bothers you, you can look for pasteurized egg whites.  You can refrigerate or freeze these parfaits, and the texture of this mousse is actually quite firm (as opposed to airier versions like this French chocolate mousse), which makes sense since we're stacking them here.  In fact, you can actually make this into a triple chocolate mousse cake - literally sliced to serve - if you're so inclined.  The cake idea is an impressive one but I like the simplicity of the little parfaits.

For my own needs and preference, I scaled the original recipe way down to one-third the original, using 3 ounces of each chocolate.  This made about 2 1/2 parfaits in my case but it all depends on the size of the serving dish you use.  If I had smaller glasses, I would've liked to make a few more, smaller portioned ones. 

Working on a small scale makes the process more manageable and it really isn't as involved as it might seem. If you have three mixing bowls and spatulas, you're in business, because all you're really doing is folding whipped cream, then egg whites, into each melted chocolate to make the mousse before layering them on top of each other.
I considered making a bit more of the dark and milk chocolate layers and going light on the white since I'm not a big fan of white chocolate. The idea seemed a little complicated so I abandoned it, thinking I could always use a little less white chocolate mousse when I assembled my parfaits. I probably should have gone with my original inclination because I have to say the white chocolate layer on its own was my least favorite.  I do realize, however, that it's not intended to be eaten alone and the white chocolate does work in combination with the dark and milk chocolate mousse.  Like life, it's about balance.

As you can see, my intention of using less of the white chocolate mousse did not pan out. While I made the same amount of each chocolate mousse, the dark chocolate is denser (so it looks like less) and I really didn't make enough all together to skimp on the white chocolate if I wanted to make full parfaits in the glasses I used.  Plus, I think the white chocolate looks kind of nice and makes for good contrast.


To make the 3 kinds of chocolate mousse, I started by chopping up 3 ounces of milk, white, and dark.  I did this the night before; I always like to try and get any prep work done in advance so it's not quite such a project all at once.
While you're at it, take a vegetable peeler and make some shavings of each to decorate your parfaits.  It's very easy to get these kind of shards from the softer white and milk chocolates but I find that just warming the dark chocolate with your hand before shaving does the trick (I have air conditioning but it was about 95 degrees that day, after all).
Now, here's the thing about melting the chocolates...you can take a shortcut and microwave the chocolate - very slowly and carefully - if you're confident but keep in mind that you're working with a small amount of chocolate for each so it's easy to over-heat it. If going with the microwave route, I'd start slow and stir often.  It won't take long for the chocolate to melt and it might be a good idea to set a small amount of the chopped chocolate aside to stir into the melted at the very end.  Special care needs to be put on the white chocolate in particular.  It's very easy to over-heat white chocolate.
Since I had enough bowls, I decided to put my chocolates into heatproof bowls and melt them over a pan of barely simmering water.  Once that's done, let the chocolates cool so you're not mixing the cream and egg whites into hot chocolate.  I needed 3/4 cups of cold heavy cream and decided to get a workout by whipping it up by hand, with a whisk.  
I do have a tendency to over-whip things because once you finally get there, it's hard to resist showing off or something.  It's finally easy at that point! Anyway, I resisted (just barely) and stopped in time to divide the cream into each bowl of cooled chocolate.
Next comes 3 whipped egg whites.  The whites should be firm but not dry - a delicate balance I always find difficult to achieve when there is no sugar being added to the whites to stabilize them.  I think I managed fairly well.  

Once the egg whites are divided among the chocolates and folded in, you can layer the mousse into your glasses or bowls.
After making and eating these, I actually think it's best to layer the dark chocolate mousse down at the bottom first because that's the densest layer. I'd follow it with white, then the milk chocolate mousse.  I did that combination in the smaller shallow dish I used.  I also find it's a lot easier to eat the mousse in a shallow dish with room to scoop.  That's just my two cents on the matter.


Recipe:

Triple Chocolate Mousse Parfait
Adapted from The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz
(This recipe is one-third of the original; you can triple the recipe to its original volume and layer the mousse in a greased 9x3-inch springform pan to make into a cake)

- Makes approximately 3 parfaits depending on the size of your serving glasses - 

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
ounces white chocolate, chopped
ounces milk chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup cold heavy cream
3 large egg whites*, at room temperature
Optional garnish: chocolate shavings

* This recipe uses raw egg whites so use organic or farm fresh eggs.  You can also look for and use pasteurized egg whites.

Place the 3 types of chopped chocolates into individual heatproof bowls.  Melt each over a pan of barely simmering water, one after the other.  While melting chocolate, stir often (particularly being careful not to over-heat the white chocolate) and do not let any water touch the bowl or chocolate itself. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm.

Whip the cream until it reaches firm, soft peaks (I did this by hand using a large, cold bowl and whisk).  Be careful not to over-whip or the cream will curdle.

Divide the cream into thirds.  Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the dark chocolate in two additions.  Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the milk chocolate and the last third into the white chocolate.  

Whip egg whites in a clean bowl until they are thick and hold their shape. Don't over-whip or the whites will be dry and break apart.  

Fold one-third of the egg whites into each chocolate mousse filling until smooth and incorporated.

To make parfaits, spoon dark chocolate, white chocolate, then milk chocolate mousse, respectively, into a glass, gently smoothing the top of each layer with the back of a spoon.  Chill the parfait, or freeze, for about 6 hours before serving.  Top with chocolate shavings, if using, just before serving.




48 comments:

  1. there is nothing, like absolutely nothing, wrong with chocolate mousse in the summer. because it's cold, right? i've never heard anyone ban chocolate sundaes and shakes when it's out out, either. :) i have no fear of egg whites, so this is on my to do list, for sure. that's a great tip about shaving dark chocolate: the white and the milk are so much easier, but i always mess it up when it comes to the harder dark chocolate. i'm trying your technique!

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    1. I'm with you, Shannon. Chocolate is most certainly "season-less". I'm glad you don't have problems with using egg whites. I don't either and really like egg whites in chocolate mousse, frankly, since it really lightens it up. I've never been good at shaving chocolates and my technique wasn't really much - I think it just worked out because it was so darn hot! : )
      Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  2. So gorgeous Monica! I'm a chocolate lover too so this is right up my alley. I love the chocolate shavings on top. It completes this parfait. Delicious! :) Have a stellar week! xo

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comments, Anne. The shavings do kind of take it over the top so I couldn't resist. : )

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  3. Love this! Especially love how absolutely pretty it looks!!

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  4. These look and sound delicious-I would love one right now for breakfast!

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    1. Breakfast! Now you're talkin', Dawn!

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  5. Wow, this chocolate mousse looks so decadent and delicious Monica! Love all the layers and I can imagine how incredible and creamy this tastes and would definitely gobble this up in no time :) Yum!

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    1. It is more on the decadent end, Kelly. I wouldn't make and eat it everyday but once in a while, you just want to go for broke.

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  6. What an elegant dessert, Monica! It looks like a chocolate lovers dream! David Lebovitz knows his chocolate. :) Individual parfaits is definitely more manageable in size and ease of preparation, but now you have me curious to find a picture of this as a cake just for amazement purposes! :)

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    1. Absolutely, Wendy - David is my chocolate guru! I do have visions of this as cake. Freeze it and I imagine it would set up nicely. I feel like I'd have to make extra to make sure I have even layers - a bit more of a project. Reminds me of a certain chocolate cheesecake that has a layer of mousse, a layer of cheesecake, and a layer of flourless chocolate cake...

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  7. Anything Chocolate, I am in. It too perfect with the layers and the shavings..

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    1. Thank you! I love bonding with others over our common love of chocolate.

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  8. I love how this looks. It reminds me of that 3-layer jello they used to have...do you remember that? It would set into 3 layers, a regular jello, a mousse and something in between. I wish they still made it. Anyway, this mousse looks amazing. The perfect chocolate fix ;)

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    1. Amy, I used to buy those jello pudding cups all the time before I grew up and figured out you can make it yourself (not that long ago, ironically)...but I don't think I know what you're talking about! Sounds like something I would've loved as a kid.

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    2. This is the stuff I was talking about: http://www.yumsugar.com/Should-Jello-Bring-Back-Jello-1-2-3-216558

      I totally forgot the name til i looked it up. It was so good! hehe.

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    3. I've never had this, Amy!! So much to learn...I didn't move to the States til almost 8 so that explains some holes in my American childhood snacking background : ). I bet I would've enjoyed it.

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  9. Good lordy, how gorgeous are these?! What a great chocolate dessert for the summer. Absolutely irresistible, Monica!

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    1. Aww...thank you, Georgia! I can have (need to have) chocolate all year round, everyday!

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  10. Oh my - you are calling me by name! What a perfect dessert - and all that chocolate - wonderful and beautiful.

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    1. Chocolate lovers, unite! Thanks, Tricia!

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  11. Wow, this dessert is like chocolate perfection! I can just imagine myself digging into one after a hot summer day...yummm. I love that it has all 3 of the chocolates, and the chocolate shavings on top look so pretty! Haha the funny thing is, Caroline and I had no idea what to name our blog at first, but when we settled on Pass the Cocoa, we definitely had chocolate in mind for types of desserts we like most (:

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    1. Thank you, Monica. I should've just called my blog 80% Chocolate or something like that! : )

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  12. Oh my goodness they look so pretty! Usually I am afraid of making anything that uses raw eggs but I can substitute something else.

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  13. This is really beautiful - a delicious chocolate treat! so glad to have found your blog and very happy to follow!
    Mary x

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    1. Hi Mary - thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words. Your food looks sensational over on your spot. : )

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  14. My mom used to always bring me home a parfait from a fast food restaurant, I can assure you it was not as good as yours but it holds special memories. I now need this in my life!

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    1. haha- sounds like a wonderful mom. I love when something brings back a sweet memory...

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  15. Elegantly decadent parfait!
    So glad to have stumbled by your blog :)
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

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    1. Thank you very much! Appreciate it!

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  16. It looks so delicious, nice presentation dear.

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  17. Wow. This is the parfait to end all parfaits!

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    1. Ha- don't know about that but thank you!

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  18. These look devine! I love the presentation. :)

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  19. Love the idea of three different types of chocolate in a single dessert! These look delicious Monica!

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    1. Chocolate is always good! Thanks, Tiffany.

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  20. There's nothing better than chocolate in this world -- I won't be able to resist this at all :)

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  21. Oh my heart! This is a-mazing! Thank you very much for sharing this recipe!!


    Yellow Blog Design
    http://yellowblog.storenvy.com | http://yellowblogdesign.blogspot.com

    Cheap Fashion is Chic
    http://cheapfashionischic.blogspot.com

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  22. Oh my....now you've got me craving for parfait too! And my whole family is chocoholic! Guess I'll have to double the recipe for sure. ;)

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    1. Love knowing other chocoholics! : )

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  23. Um, he has a chocolate cookbook?! So awesome. I need to look into this more. :) Yours look very pretty. I made some sort of mousse cake before, but it can get fussy. I like how you did these!

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    1. Yes! He is my dessert and chocolate guru! haha. I thought a cake would be quite messy..parfaits are way easier.

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