Chocolate mousse garnished with mint leaves, a raspberry and edible flowers. Photo © Magdanatka| Dreamstime.
Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Page 2: Classic French Chocolate Mousse
CAPSULE REPORT: Julia Child’s chocolate mousse recipe, developed during her stay in France and annotated by THE NIBBLE. This is Page 2 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.
The first chocolate mousse recipe we ever made was Julia Child’s, from Mastering The Art Of French Cooking.
Though we’ve tried many others over the years, from milk chocolate to Bailey’s Irish Cream, we return to the basics from time to time.
We did so recently, and felt we should share the recipe—with our variations—to NIBBLE readers.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Julia’s recipe substitutes beaten egg whites for cream—a bit more protein, a bit less fat (but that wasn’t the intention—no one discussed “protein” and “fat” in 1961!).
Mastering The Art Of French Cooking: Our original set, decades old and still available.
This recipe makes 6 servings.
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup finely granulated sugar
(If you don’t have it, you can process regular table sugar in a spice grinder)
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur—Cointreau, GranGala, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, etc.
(If you like,
serve it as a liqueur after the dessert)
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (see *NOTE) ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 miniature pumpkins (optional)
- Garnishes: whipped cream, chocolate pastry decorations
- 4 tablespoons strong-brewed coffee
(Don’t use instant coffee, but you can use leftover brewed coffee from the day before—or from breakfast—as long as it hasn’t been overcooked on the coffee maker’s heating plate. Don’t leave brewed coffee on the heating plate for longer than 15 minutes; remove the carafe or unplug the machine.)
- 6 ounces (1-1/2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Optional: 1/4 cup finely diced, glazed orange peel (see next page)
- Garnish: See next page
- Sauce: Creme anglaise or whipped cream
*NOTE: When Julia Child published her cookbook in 1961, “baking chocolate” was a generic product. You can improve on her recipe by using a finer quality of chocolate. Look for Callebaut, Guittard, Valrhona and other fine brands, with a cacao content of 60% to 70% (we use 70%).
- 3-quart mixing bowl
- Whisk or electric beater
- Pan of not-quite-simmering water
- Basin of cold water
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the orange liqueur.
- Set the mixing bowl over the not-quite-simmering water and continue beating for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger.
- Then beat over cold water for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
- Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water [or microwave]. Remove from heat and beat in the butter a bit at a time, to make a smooth cream.
- Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar, then beat in the optional orange peel.
- Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
- Stir one fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest. [Mix it in gently to prevent the air from deflating.]
- Turn into serving dish, dessert cups or petit pots [we like martini glasses; more ideas on next page]. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Continue To Page 3: Presentation & Garnishing
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