The Place for the Healthy Foodie and Hurried Chef
Well as you know, I try to be a healthy, Weight Watcher foodie whenever possible. But then sometimes I get the “munchies” or cravings for something sweet, and all of my good eating efforts go to hell. I should also point out that “diety” or sugar-free versions of food freak me out. I mean, what IS it? What is IN the food? If it is sugar-free with chocolate flavored vegetable-based covering (like Magnum Ice Cream bars, for example) COUNT ME OUT. I would rather eat a small amount of 100% real dessert than large amounts of god-knows-what any day. But anyways, enough of the rant and on to the recipe!
This is my beloved mousse recipe from Disneyworld’s Epcot France Pavilion, which I found online at the Disney Food Blog.They serve it at this fast-food type cafe called Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles. I really like the place, and their dessert selection is delectable! I decided to make the mousse this week so that I have a sweet treat for 3 points every day. The recipe/tips are as follows…
Yield: Approximately 3 cups
5 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate (whatever your preference)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over warm water. Remove from heat.
2. Combine egg yolks and cream and gradually add chocolate, stirring rapidly. Add vanilla extract.
3. Beat egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks form.
4. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Spoon mousse into a decorative mold or individual serving glasses and chill until firm (about 2 hours). I recommend garnishing with fresh berries!
Here are some tips for the novice chefs out there:
1. When they say FOLD the egg white mixture into the chocolate, they mean FOLD GENTLY. If you don’t do this step gently, you will find that your mousse will deflate (you will crush the air out of the whipped egg whites) and you mousse will be more pudding-like (though still delicious). For help folding, see the video here.
2. Melting chocolate can be tricky. It burns easily and nothing in this world is worse than burned, wasted chocolate. I mean, after world wars and zombies and the death of Eddard Stark and Dumbledore, there comes the burned chocolate. The Cook’s Illustrated book on tips recommends melting it over a coffee machine if you don’t have a double boiler. While that is a fine idea, I have improvised a double boiler before to great effect with a pan and mug. You simply fill a medium pan about halfway with water, then place a standard coffee mug or a ceramic bowl into the pan directly with your chocolate inside. Turn on the stove to a medium heat (so let the mug/chocolate/pan/water warm up together) and then watch the magic happen! Don’t fill the pan too much since you don’t want the water to jump and ruin your chocolate. Make sure you smooth on the chocolate with a small spatula or spoon against the sides of the cup/bowl to smooth out those chocolate lumps.
3. Make sure you mix the cream, egg yolks and chocolate together quickly, and do this as your second step while your egg whites are whipping. You want your chocolate to cool down so you don’t deflate your egg whites. You also want this chocolate/cream/vanilla mixture to be as “liquidy” as possible, so that it doesn’t crush the life out of your egg whites.
4. I use my MyCook machine to whip my egg whites, since the egg whites must be stiff for the recipe. I have always failed to get my egg whites sufficiently stiff with a hand mixer. If you have a stand mixer with a paddle, I think that is your best bet.
5. Get an egg separator. They are amazing.
For you Weight Watchers out there:
1/4 cup mousse is 3pp, 1/2 cup is 6pp, and a full cup (waaaaaay to much mousse) is 13pp. Add some berries to get a bit of fruit/fiber in there! This recipe should last you about 5 days, imagine, having chocolate mousse served with fresh berries every day! I recommend using a dark chocolate since it has less sugar, and that more intense flavor will satisfy your cravings.