Yield: Makes 8 Cups
We’re celebrating Julia Child’s birthday on August 15th, with this decadent classic mousse adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Volume Two .
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 egg whites at room temperature
Big pinch salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1/3 cup dark rum
2 cups chilled whipping cream in a beating bowl
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Prepare meringue: Combine sugar and water in saucepan and set over moderately high heat. Swirl pan slowly by its handle, but do not stir sugar with a spoon while liquid is coming to the boil. Continue swirling for a moment as liquid boils and turns from cloudy to perfectly clear. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and let simmer slowly while you beat the egg whites.
To beat egg whites: Turn egg whites into mixer bowl, and start at slow speed for a minute or so, until egg whites begin to foam up. Beat in the salt and cream of tartar, and gradually increase speed to fast, until egg whites form stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla.
Remove cover from sugar syrup, and insert candy thermometer if you are using one. Boil rapidly, and when bubbles begin to thicken, watch temperature or start dropping driblets into iced water. Boil to 238F, the soft-ball stage-sugar makes a sticky but definite shape when worked in cold water with your fingers.
Immediately start beating egg whites at moderate speed, dribbling boiling syrup into them until all is used. Continue beating egg whites at moderate speed until cool, and until mixture forms stiff peaks when lifted-when you draw a spatula through it, the walls of meringue on either side of the path remain erect and unmoving. (If you are using a portable beater, you may set the meringue bowl in a basin of cold water to speed the cooling.) Beating time: 8 to 10 minutes using a beater on a stand.
To melt chocolate: Break up the chocolate, and place in the saucepan with the rum; cover, and set it in the pan of hot but not simmering water.
As soon as chocolate is melted, and you have beaten it to a soft, smooth texture, whip it into the meringue mixture. In its separate bowl, set cream over ice and beat, circulating beater all around bowl to incorporate air into cream, until doubled in volume; continue beating a few minutes more, until beater leaves light traces on surface, and a bit of cream lifted and dropped back softly retains its shape. This is now crème Chantilly.
Remove the (whipped) cream from the ice, and set the chocolate-meringue mixture over it, beating for a few minutes until cool but not stiff. If chocolate is warm it will deflate the whipped cream. Then, with a rubber spatula, turn the crème Chantilly out on top of the chocolate, and fold the two together, cutting down from surface of cream to bottom of bowl with rubber spatula, and turning spatula against side of bowl as you draw it out; continue rapidly, rotating bowl as you fold. Divide between individual bowls and refrigerate until serving. Serve with sweetened whipped cream on the side.
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Done this one before - quite 'fussy', but amazing result. Try it!!
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