This recipe has been in my repertoire since I was about 12 :) I found it in a chocolate bar packaging and glued it in my “Children learn how to cook” book which I still use. It is an old fashion book showing two little boys with long hair and elephant feet pants on the cover, licking their fingers. I was born in the seventies…
The great thing about this 2- ingredient chocolate mousse recipe is the two ingredients part of course (eggs and dark cooking chocolate) but also the fact that it takes a few minutes to make and last but not least its gorgeous taste and texture… It’s a typical French recipe which is served in a “all you can eat” manner is some French restaurants.
Some people add sugar (crime!!), butter (re-crime!!!) or even cream (ditto). It is such a shame as the absolute basic recipe is the best ever.
If you are an “adder” like me… and like to add things to recipes all the time, this is what you can add: a few grains of instant coffee in the chocolate before melting, it adds depth to the chocolate taste. This works with any chocolate recipe. You can also add orange zest and of course, you are welcome take a look at my “Mixturus” article where I have tried to list all the flavours you can pair chocolate with. IT’S HERE.
Even if it is a very simple and straight forward recipe, as always, there are a few things you need to know to make the best version of it. These tricks taught by my mother and grandmother are really the trigger behind this blog. I have always felt that most recipes I read completely lack the elementary steps which a lot of people haven’t been taught. I have more often than not tasted “French” dishes in restaurants outside France where the chef has obviously never been taught these trick and probably never ever tried the original French version. Here, on The Flo Show, my idea is to break the code, cut each recipe step by step like you would slice a saucisson (French dry sausage). Find all the decisive little details which will make the dish turn good or bad.
The way you “treat” chocolate is one trick. The traditional way to melt chocolate at a temperature that will not harm its texture is “bain-marie”, which consists of putting a porcelain bowl or a pan over a bigger pan half-filled with lightly simmering water.
It is a long process which can turn into a disaster if you have kids running everywhere and you don’t notice that the water is actually boiling up underneath…
My method is the microwave one. This can also become a disaster if you cook it too long so my advice is:
– cut bar in squares,
– use a microwavable bowl,
– start with 30 seconds,
– don’t stir, just press down with your fingers to push the melting chocolate down,
– add 30 seconds after 30 seconds until you get half the chocolate melted,
– take the bowl out and stir. The heat of the melted chocolate should help melt the remaining squares, if not, only add 10 seconds per 10 seconds. Take the time to stir, it will melt eventually :) and because you are using residual heat, you won’t dry up your chocolate or over-heat it.
– don’t add water, the temperature shock and chemical shock will solidify your chocolate.
The second trick is the way you treat the egg whites. They should be turned into a nice “snow” as we say in French (blancs en neige): not too firm, not too soft and certainly not separated: when you let you white for too long, the top is snow, the bottom is… well… liquid. To avoid this, follow the recipe and beat egg whites only just before you will need them.
The best way to do it is to use any machine, here I used my Magimix Cook Expert which makes great beaten egg whites. You can use any device really. The important part is to keep a look at their texture. They need to form soft peaks. When you raise the whisk above the bowl, the “snow” should form a Cockatoo’s beak.
Another trick: it is always better in most French recipes to use eggs are room temperature. Here is a good reason why: in this recipe you will need to whisk the yolks and the melted chocolate together. The chocolate cannot be boiling hot of course but just warm or it will cook the eggs. If it is warm-ish and you mix it with icy cold eggs, there will be a temperature shock and your chocolate will solidify. If this happens, good luck with the next step which is stirring this yolk + choc mix with the whipped egg whites.
Having both ingredients at room temperature will help a lot.
If you have a little accident one day, who hasn’t had one… this is a cool trick. Use a wooden spoon and try to mix this awful paste of solidified choc and yolks as much as you can. Tip in a microwavable bowl. Heat in the microwave for 10 sec, and then 10 secs after 10 secs to melt it down without burning the yolks.
See, this is the mix of choc and yolks and it looks runny and shiny. Eggs were at room temperature and chocolate was not too warm. I use a whisk when all goes well :)
You will then add the egg whites very easily.
Another few tricks here: don’t tip the whole lot of beaten whites, go by thirds. Use a wooden spoon and stir with a circular motion scraping the bottom, bringing the chocolate over the egg whites. Keep going slowly and delicately until well mixed but please don’t over-stir. You will end up with a mousse which will have lost most of its air.
Once you have mixed the first third add the second, etc.
It should look like this :)
Don’t worry too much if there are a few mini lumps of egg whites. It’s better to leave them intact than over work the mix.
Next step is the boring one. Leave the mousse in the fridge for 4 hours minimum.
- 1 bar dark chocolate. The exact amount it irrelevant, usually between 180 to 220g.
- 6 eggs at room temperature.
- Melt chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave making sure to use a microwavable bowl. Cut bar in squares, start with 30 seconds, don't stir, just press down with your fingers to push the melting chocolate down. Add 30 seconds after 30 seconds until you get half the chocolate melted. Take the bowl out and stir with a wooden or silicon spoon (avoid the very cold metal spoon). The heat of the melted chocolate should help melt the remaining squares, if not, only add 10 seconds per 10 seconds. Take the time to stir, it will melt :) and because you are using residual heat, you won't dry up your chocolate or over-heat it. Don't add water, the temperature shock and chemical shock will solidify you chocolate.
- When all melted, let chocolate cool down a little. It should be warm-ish.
- Separate egg whites and yolks.
- Whisk chocolate and yolks.
- Using any device, beat egg white until they form SOFT peak. Be careful not to over-beat them.
- Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, tip ⅓ of beaten egg whites in the choc+yolk mixture. Stir with a circular motion scraping the bottom, bringing the chocolate over the egg whites. Keep going slowly and delicately until well mixed but please don't over-stir. You will end up with a mousse which will have lost most of its air.
- Tip in a nice serving dish which fits in your fridge and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.