Published January 1, 2006.
Rich, frosting-like mousse is utterly delicious--for about two spoonfuls. Yet light and silky versions often lack decent chocolate flavor. Could we have the best of both worlds?
Rich, creamy, and dense mousse can be delicious but too filling after a few mouthfuls. On the other hand, light and airy mousse usually lacks deep chocolate flavor.
We wanted chocolate mousse with both a light, meltingly smooth texture and substantial chocolate flavor.
We lightened and then balanced the texture of the mousse by eliminating the butter and reducing the number of egg whites and yolks. We whipped the cream to soft peaks before adding it to the chocolate to make up for some of the lost volume. We then maximized the chocolate flavor with a combination of 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Very chocolaty, so chocolaty, in fact, that we had put the ratio of liquid to chocolate solids out of balance. The mousse was so heavy on the solids that it had an unpleasantly gritty texture. We restored the balance and created a light, ethereal texture by upping the liquid with just 6 tablespoons of water. A small amount of instant espresso powder, salt, and brandy added the final flavor notes.list of recipes