Mighty Mocha Mousse
It’s hard to beat the flavor combination of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. This light and creamy mousse from Carole Bloom’s Intensely Chocolate book is revved up by using instant espresso powder and chocolate extract. Mousse is delicate and should be prepared no more than a day ahead.
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (66 to 72 percent cacao content), finely chopped
1 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream, divided use
1 T. instant espresso powder
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. pure chocolate extract
3 large eggs, whites only, at room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 T. finely shaved bittersweet chocolate or 10 small chocolate disks (optional)
Place chocolate in a 2-quart, heat-safe bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat 3/4 c. of the cream to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the espresso powder, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and bring the cream to a boil again.
Strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer over the chocolate, let it stand for 30 seconds, then stir together until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and chocolate extracts and stir to blend completely.
Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Stirring constantly, heat the egg whites until they reach 160 degrees.
Using the wire-whip attachment on a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites until they are frothy. Slowly sprinkle on the sugar and whip the whites until they hold firm but before they reach stiff peaks.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three stages, blending completely.
Whip the remaining cup of the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the chocolate mixture in three stages, blending thoroughly.
Divide the mousse evenly among 10 half-cup serving bowls or pour it into a 1 1/2-quart bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 2 hours.
For the garnish, whip the cream, in an electric mixer with the wire-whip attachment or in a bowl using a handheld mixer, until frothy. Add vanilla and continue whipping until the cream holds soft peaks. Serve each mousse with a dollop of whipped cream on top. If using shaved chocolate, sprinkle a little over the whipped cream on top of each mousse. If using chocolate disks, center one in the whipped cream on top of each serving.
Intensely Chocolate by Carole Bloom; photography by Glenn Cormier (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010)