Chocolate Mousse Tips

Our Chocolate Mouse (Mousse au Chocolat) Recipes describe the basic steps for this recipe. Following are some guidelines to avoid common problems.

  • Each recipe requires that one melt the chocolate. It is very important that this should be done gently and that the chocolate is not overheated (if overheated the chocolate ingredients will separate or burn). Consequently, rather than melting it in a pot, it is best to use a double boiler if you have one. If you don't, a good alternative is to place a casserole dish inside a pot of water. In both cases (double boiler or casserole dish in pot of water), the water should be heated to warm but not to boiling.

  • To allow the chocolate to melt quickly, with minimum heat, it should be broken into pieces before being placed into the dish to melt.

  • The egg white needs to be beaten into a froth, as it is the air bubbles trapped in the froth which provides this recipe its distinctive light and airy taste. However, care should be taken not to beat the egg whites to the point that they become stiff. If they are stiff, it becomes difficult to mix them evenly into the chocolate.

  • Once the chocolate is melted, the other ingredients are added. As the other ingredients are often cool (e.g. if cream is used and it has just been taken out of the fridge), they will cool the chocolate and it may start to go hard. If this happens, it is impossible to mix the chocolate with the other ingredients. To solve this problem, simply reheat (gently!!!) the chocolate with whatever ingredients have already been added, until the chocolate becomes liquid again. To avoid the problem, either melt the chocolate in a heavy dish (which will hold the heat and keep the chocolate liquid) or once the chocolate is melted, leave it in the double boiler (or casserole dish) with the stove on minimum heat, using the boiler (or casserole dish) to mix all the ingredients in.

  • The sugar needs to be well dissolved. For this purpose icing sugar (known as Confectioners' Sugar in the USA, or Sucre Glace in France) is best as it dissolves quickly. However, ordinary sugar works well provided it is well stirred in.

  • The beaten egg white needs to be added to the chocolate, but it should be "folded" in rather than stirred in. "Folding" is a cooking term. It consists of sliding the instrument (e.g. plastic spatula or wooden spoon) along the bottom of the container and then lifting it up the side (keeping the spoon horizontal). This motion is used to mix the ingredients without losing the air bubbles trapped in the whipped egg. A normal stirring motion would remove the air bubbles, resulting in the moose being flat.

  • After the chocolate mousse is prepared, it should be put into the fridge to cool for at least an hour prior to serving. As it contains raw egg, I would advise that it is eaten the same day as it is prepared, rather than keeping it for multiple days.

We have more information, including a number of recipes, at Chocolate Mousse (Mousse au Chocolat).

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