I’ve told you about the best part of working from home, but I realized I haven’t mentioned some of the not-so-delightful sides.
First of all, according to your friends, you no longer have a “job”. What they call a job requires an office – preferably, one with stale coffee and decade-old carpeting. So, when they call you in the middle of the day and invite you out to lunch, grab a coffee or go lamp shopping for their new house, don’t expect them to take your “I am busy!” response too seriously.
Besides, what work? After all, you are only baking a cake and taking its pictures.
When I told you about my recent career change, you expected my posts to be more frequent, didn’t you? Well, so did I!
And not to worry; I still have the same intention. As much as I’d like to update my blog more frequently, something always gets in the way (like this book for instance). But I have to admit, my friends are not the only ones to blame.
Maybe, after working day and night all those years (sometimes even without vacation days), I’ve gotten used to the comfort of my home and became a bit, ummm, you know, lazy… Maybe, I have been spending way too much time on eBay for antique bakeware. I might have even woken up at 6:40 AM this morning and watched an awesome linen napkin set slip away and crawled back to bed.
Or maybe, just maybe, I’ve developed this obsession to watch all the TV shows in the world (go Glee!) the moment they air in the US. Maybe.
But if there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is this: Chocolate mousse must have been invented by the smartest, kindest and most charitable person in the world. He/she certainly deserves some kind of a humanitarian award for finding an answer to this very important question: “How can I eat massive amounts of chocolate AND never get tired of it?”
A chocolate mousse recipe is all about gradually lightening the melted bittersweet chocolate. The egg yolks provide a silky texture and additions of egg whites and heavy cream give the mousse body and lighten the taste.
Some recipes use just egg whites, others use both egg whites and heavy cream. I have tried every possible combination and came to the conclusion that using both gives you a more balanced mousse without sacrificing the rich chocolate taste.
I think this recipe will also be appreciated by those who are worried about using raw eggs, as it is pretty common in mousse recipes. Adding scalded milk to the egg yolks and heating the egg whites on a double boiler takes care of that issue.
One last thing before I go: In order to achieve that “light as a feather” texture, pay attention to how you incorporate the egg whites and whipped cream. The melted chocolate combined with the yolks is much denser than whipped cream and egg whites. Adding them all at once will make it very difficult for you to incorporate them without deflating the air bubbles trapped inside. So, first add only one third of each to the chocolate mixture, which will lighten it, and then fold in the rest gently.
Chocolate mousse. Light as a feather.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE RECIPE
- 8 ounces bittersweet (70% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with a fork
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- Place a medium-sized mixing bowl and a wire whisk in the freezer and let chill (this will help you whisk the cream more easily).
- Melt the chocolate on a double-boiler, take off heat and let stand.
- In a small saucepan, bring milk and sugar to the boil and take off heat. While whisking the yolks constantly, slowly drizzle the hot milk in and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Important: You need to add the hot milk in small amounts at first; otherwise the egg yolks will cook too quickly and the mixture will curdle. Once you’ve added half of the milk this way, the temperature of the egg yolks will rise enough to allow the rest of the milk to be added at once.
- Add melted chocolate and whisk to combine.
- In another mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water, place the egg whites and whisk until hot-to-the-touch. Add the salt and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in the rest gently with a spatula.
- Place the heavy cream in the chilled mixing bowl and whip with the chilled whisk until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in the rest gently with a spatula.
- Divide the mousse into 6 individual serving dishes (1/3 cup each), cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Serve cold. Additional whipped cream and/or summer berries won’t hurt. Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 2 days.