Chocolate mousse is one of the simplest dessert recipes out there, but still one of the most popular.
The easiest version has only two ingredients, chocolate and cream, but both of them are key to a good mousse, together with the technique you use to make it.
To me the magic of it is the consistency, soft, creamy, light, luxurious. If I manage to get the right one I can eat kilos of chocolate mousse. The problem is the chocolate. Different chocolate brands, even if they are both 70% cocoa, have different ability to “absorb” liquids, so one would may need more cream than the other for the mousse to have the same consistency for both of them.
For this recipe I used Italian chocolate and not the best quality ever. I will give you instruction on how to make it and those are going to be the most important part of the recipe, not the amount of ingredients used, because you may need to adjust them if your chocolate calls for more liquids than mine.
My recipe calls for 200 g 70% chocolate, 540 g double cream and 60 g of sugar. You can omit the sugar if you like the strong chocolate taste and you can substitute 100 g of cream with full fat milk for a lighter version.
The first step is to whip the double cream. In a glass bowl add the cream and start whipping it until it becomes frothy. Keep whipping it until it reaches the soft peaks stage. Don’t over whip it. You don’t need stiff peaks here, but a cream of a consistency of thick yogurt. You can go as far as medium peaks, but definitely don’t go for a cream that holds its shape when piped, that would ruin your mousse. We are aiming for an extreme light consistency. If you whip the cream too much not only the consistency is going to be off, but you have the risk of your cream splitting while you incorporate it into the ganache.
Put your cream inside the fridge to rest while you prepare the ganache.
I don’t like any chocolate mousse recipe that doesn’t call for a ganache. If you try to add any cold ingredient to simply melted chocolate you will have an hard time not coming up with curdled chocolate and bits and bobs to get rid of to have a smooth mousse. The safest way is to prepare a ganache first and then add meringue, eggs, pâte à bombe, alcohol or coffee or whatever your heart desires.
In a small pot add the rest of the cream (or the milk if you are using it) and the sugar. Bring to boil.
Partially melt your chocolate using a bain marie or a microwave, being careful to not burn it.
Add 1/3 of the cream to the chocolate and mix well from the center out. Add the second third and do the same. At this point the ganache doesn’t look good and you may think something went wrong. Just keep going adding the last part and mixing from the center out. If the amount of liquids is the right one for your chocolate you will have a nice smooth shiny ganache by now. If your chocolate solids absorb more liquids than mine it may not look shiny at all, but split, and the secret here is to add more hot cream. If instead it becomes shiny and smooth before you finish adding all the cream probably your chocolate is less dry than mine was and it is up to you if you want to use the entire amount of cream.
If your ganache is still split after even adding more liquids you may have made a mistake mixing it. Don’t panic. Get an immersion blender and blend your ganache, it will become silky and perfect.
The next step is to add the whipped cream. Add one third at a time folding it slowly and being very careful to not over mix otherwise you will have a soupy mousse.
Place the mousse in the serving cups or bowls and refrigerate it for few hours before serving it.