March Mousse Madness

Deep, rich chocolate indulgence.

Deep, rich chocolate indulgence.

This month’s dark chocolate mousse experience took me and my husband by surprise, I must say!  March’s Mousse is the most creamy, rich and yet light mousse yet. It was so rich and chocolatey that the three servings I made could have easily served six. You just don’t need a regular-sized serving of this dessert!

My original idea for March’s entry in the dark chocolate mousse quest was to come up with a St. Patrick’s Day themed mousse. But the actual mousse making didn’t happen until later Sunday evening so let’s just say March’s mousse celebrates the Irish in all of us no matter what day it is.

As you may remember from my original resolution to make one dark chocolate mousse a month in 2013, I am by no means an experienced mousse maker and until I made Miss January Dark Chocolate Mousse, I had never fiddled with melting bittersweet chocolate over a bain marie. We ended up with a very thick and luscious mousse based on the French standard recipe from Julia Child.

February’s mousse was quite different (and far less sinful) using only bittersweet chocolate and whipped egg whites. That one was delicious too!

But this. Oooh La La! Be warned—this is far more chocolatey, far more  rich and as indulgent as all get out what with the butter and a little organic, unrefined cane sugar. Not to mention the Guinness Stout and the very dark unsweetened chocolate syrup featuring Baily’s Irish Creme. (That’s the little bit of Irish.)

I must say we couldn’t really detect the Guiness Stout at all but the dark chocolate sauce with Baily’s did retain a great deal of flavor and was to die for!

We went all the way with this one and added real whipped cream to show off the sauce in the photo but you really don’t need it. This mousse looks so dark and rich yet it litterally disappears in your mouth on contact, leaving you with the sensation of deep, dark chocolate and creamy richness.

For the basic recipe, I turned to the Guinness Storehouse website straight from Dublin. If you look at this website, you’ll see beer glasses filled with this mousse. Now that I’ve tried the mousse, I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams eating this much of the stuff in one serving. I do believe that would officially count as one of the thirty ways to experience death by chocolate!

I cut the original recipe in half like this:

  • 175 grams 73% dark chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 50 g organic, unrefined cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup Guinness Extra Stout

Again, this would actually make 6 servings.

1. Dissolve the sugar in the Guinness Stout. I did it this way because the sugar I used is very unrefined and I wanted it well-dissolved. (A lesson I learned from making January’s mousse.)

2. Beat the egg yolks until they are lighter and thicker. Incorporate the Guinness with the disolved sugar and beat until it is ribbony.

3. In a separate, dry and very clean bowl (I like a stainless steel bowl) whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Do not over-whip them. Kudos to my husband who did an excellent job of this!

4. Melt grated or broken bits of chocolate with the butter by putting a heat-proof bowl or small pan over another pan of simmering water. Do not let the simmering water touch the bottom of the pan with the chocolate. Stir, stir, stir until you have creamy, shiny melted chocolate.

5. When the chocolate is melted, let it cool slightly. Keep stirring to maintain smoothness. Then incorporate the chocolate into the yolk mixture starting with a little and then the rest of the chocolate. Mix this gently together.

6. Fold in your soft-peaked egg whites.

Now you can put your mousse into whatever kind of dish or glass you want to serve it in and chill it. We chilled ours for only about a half hour and couldn’t wait any longer to taste it.

For the chocolate sauce, I mixed about 1/4 cup of 100% pure cocoa powder into about a half cup of Baily’s Irish cream and stirred it over the hot water, just like the other chocolate. At first it looked kind of grainy and ucky, but then it smoothed out to a wonderful, very dark sauce. Continue to stir and let it heat and thicken. This also helps to cook off the alcohol in the Irish Creme.

I made real whipped cream by whipping heavy cream with stevia and a dash of vanilla, but like I said—you don’t need it except for the fact it really looks nice.

Serve the mousse with whipped cream and dark chocolate Irish creme sauce drizzled over the top. It’s chocolate heaven! You’ll believe you found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Dark Chocolate Snowball

My resolution to discover and learn to make the best dark chocolate mousse on the planet is taking on a life of its own.

No offense  to Ben & Jerry's, but it is time for a chocolate upgrade at mycookinglife for 2013!

No offense to Ben & Jerry’s, but it is time for a chocolate upgrade at mycookinglife for 2013!

First of all, there’s the pressure.  I said I’d make one dark chocolate mousse a month and the first week of January is already slipping by.

“So,” I thought, “Now I have to decide when this monthly merry mousse-making is going to appear.”

Before I could reach a decision my thoughts jumped ahead to some other issues–some of which were instigated by reading other blogs.

I follow “Foodimentary” and learned today is National Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day. This used to be my all-time favorite candy but I don’t eat it much any more because the chocolate is usually so cheap and not worth it. (There’s a subject for a post!)

That got me thinking about chocolate quality in general and what do I really know about chocolate?  No doubt there are chocolate connoisseurs in the world. In fact, there are some here in New Mexico and maybe I can consult with them or interview them for my blog.  (There’s a subject for a post!)

Then I read this great post about making a New Year’s resolution to kiss more people more often.  (It was really good, you should read it.)  That got me thinking about my husband and what a great kisser he is and somehow that led to the idea of the famous Chocolate Kisses and the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up in February and that I’d like to make a really special dark chocolate mousse for that month.  (There’s a subject for a great post!)

I also read one of my favorite blogger’s excellent advice on the whole new-year-new-diet scene and how to effectively improve your health and lifestyle by making aware decisions about what you eat.  (Yes, I recommend this post to you.)  I had been thinking about the fact that in order to try a different dark chocolate mousse every month, I will inevitably use some recipes that call for a little sugar and some cream–both of which I usually don’t eat–and how do I justify that?

Well, I am no saint and I do sometimes eat those things and this blogger helped me realize that with the right attitude (No, I don’t mean justification, I mean attitude), I can make eating dark chocolate mousse work very well for me.  (There’s a subject for a great post!)

And then there’s presentation.  My second New Year’s Resolution is to learn how to do food photography better.  Which leads to props.  Which leads to shopping. (Love shopping). Which leads to finding creative ways to feature my future dark chocolate meeces (Huh?) in beautiful and enticing photographs.  Imagine the dessert bowls and ramekins! The garnishes! Slenderize Your Dark Chocolate Mousse With Vertical White Chocolate Stripes. Dark Chocolate Mousse Fashion Design. (There’s a subject for a great post!)

Many of my blogging friends are doing interactive things with their blogs like the Virtual Vegan Potluck (invite meeee! I’ll bring a Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse that I want to make.) and Giveaways.  My third New Year’s resolution is to have guest bloggers and that fits right in with being interactive and they may decide to make dark chocolate mousse with photographs supplied.  I thought of quite a few people I could ask to be guests and then I thought of some people I could actually visit and we can make dark chocolate mousse together with photos etc. (There’s a subject for a great post!)

My husband-the-great-kisser, by the way, is more than happy to be the taste tester for my experimental mousse-making.  We will make beautiful moussic together.  (Couldn’t resist saying that!)  In the spirit of being more interactive, I’d like to invite other taste-testers too and have them render their opinions. Of dark chocolate mousse, not of my husband’s kissing thank you very much. (There’s a subject for another great post!)

In fact, why don’t I work out some kind of dark chocolate mousse-making contest and solicit original recipes that I can make during the year as part of my Dark Chocolate Mousse Star Search!? (There’s a subject for another great post, for sure!)

Or the updated versions:  So You Think You Can Mousse.  Moussing With the Stars (Gosh! Do you think I could even pull in a celebrity dark chocolate mousse recipe?)

Moussing with Bullwinkle.

Johnny Depp!  How About You? You were in that Chocolate Factory movie, right? In fact, you were in Chocolat too. Sure, just come on over and we’ll mousse up a Dark Chocolate Storm! I need an expert like you, Johnny.

Chinese New Year:  Year of the Dark Chocolate Moussssse (It’s the year of the snake, and snakes, hiss, and . . . maybe they all can’t be winners).

A Dark Chocolate Day.  Don’t be Afraid of the Dark. Dark Chocolate–Aphrodisiac or Bitter End? Famous Chocolate Marriages – Meet the Reese’s. South of the Border with Mexican Chocolate. How to Remove Chocolate Stains. They Called Me a “Dip.” Lose Ten Pounds on the Dark Chocolate Mousse Diet! Lifestyles of the Dark, Rich and Famous (Chocolate, That Is). Death By Chocolate–Thirty Ways To Do It. Deep Dark Beauty Secrets or How to Have Flawless Chocolate Coating.

Mousse is Not a Hair Product.

I LIke Vanilla: Confessions of a Chocolate Maven.

Where’s my writer’s notepad and pen? I’m drowning ecstatically in my own Dark Chocolate Dreams!  (Yes, another subject for a great post!)

Like I said, there’s the pressure.  And if there wasn’t enough of it before, I’ve certainly magnified it a thousand-fold with these entertainingly bloggy chocolate thoughts, haven’t I?  See what happens when you make what at first seems like a simple resolution?

It is now a Quest.

Surely I’ll be looking for a little help from my blogging friends and we’ll come out okay and probably coated in Delicious Dark Chocolate.  I can just see the words “Chocolate” and “Mousse” looming larger and larger in my tag cloud!

In the meantime I’ve got to choose a dark chocolate mousse recipe to try out and feature for January.  And I think I know just the lady to go to for that.  (Not telling because that will be the subject–you guessed it–for another great post!)

2013 is looking very Dark Chocolate Moussey, I must say!