Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
About halfway through our holiday in France, I started compiling a list of French dishes I wanted to recreate: the Niçoise salads I ate for dinner, the apple tiramisu we were served at Château de l’Isle-Marie, the delectable omelet that Tom had for lunch, and the chocolate mousse that graced so many dessert menus. I decided that chocolate mousse was a MUST for this Father’s Day (in addition to the traditional slab o’ beef on the grill).
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
For the most authentic French version, I opened my Mastering the Art of French Cooking and jotted down the necessary ingredients for my shopping list. The production certainly created a lot of dirty pots, bowls and measuring utensils. But Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse was definitely a sensational treat, more like a French silk pie filling than other mousses I’ve made. Truly an exquisite dessert.
Our Trip to Normandy, France
One quick story from our trip before the recipe. We spent two nights in the French countryside in Normandy at a 17th-century manor house on l’Isle-Marie. After full day including a D-Day tour and WWII museum hopping, the proprietor offered to prepare us a candlelit dinner on the property. Another couple staying at the Château asked if they could join us, and here’s where it gets interesting.
It’s a SMALL world!
3000 miles from home, we meet two lovely people from nearby Louisville, Kentucky. Kate happened to grow up 30 miles from me in Iowa and attended the same university (our time in the college town actually overlapped). She and her husband, Jamie, work for GE and had just hosted a food blogger event (they had no inkling what a food blog entailed before this). Here’s where the world gets even smaller. My friend, Isabel, the creator of #Sunday Suppers and the Family Foodie blog, happened to be at this affair in Louisville and had dinner with this SAME couple, just a WEEK before our paths crossed at an isolated locale in France. Crazy.
Dinner at a Normandy Chateau
Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
The quintessential French dessert
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: French
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar (just whiz granulated sugar in your food processor till the texture is very fine)
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup coffee
- 1 1/4 sticks (6 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Crème Anglaise or sweetened whipped cream and berries to garnish, optional
- Beat egg yolks and sugar till mixture is thick and pale yellow. Beat in Grand Marnier. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk/beat for about 3-4 minutes till foamy and very, very hot to the touch. Place bowl over cold water and again beat for 3-4 minutes till mixture is cold and the consistency of mayonnaise.
- Melt the chocolate and coffee in the microwave using 30-second increments, stirring before restarting, till smooth and melted. Beat in butter a tablespoon at a time. Beat chocolate into egg yolks and sugar.
- Beat egg whites and salt till soft peaks form. Sprinkle the sugar over the whites and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir one-quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the rest.
- Pour into one large or individual serving dishes. Chill at least two hours or overnight before serving. Garnish with crème anglaise or whipped cream and berries.