bringing the bistro home – part deux – chocolat-inspired chocolate mousse


I have a confession to make – I used to never give chocolate mousse the time of day.  Whenever I saw it on a dessert menu I could barely muster a passing glance.  I never considered actually ordering it, especially if any sort of creative non-chocolate dessert was on the menu.  But, ever since Matt and Bridget shared what can only be referred to as a vat of chocolate mousse, designed to be consumed by two, at La Bicyclette in Carmel, I have been day dreaming about this once overlooked dessert.  After protesting at first, I was prevailed upon to give the chocolate mousse a taste.  It was heaven – light and airy, voluptuous and perfectly chocolate-y, but not too sweet.  I of course had tasted chocolate mousse before, but until that moment, I had never really understood chocolate mousse.  I love that about food – you think {at least by my age} that you know what you like and dislike, and then something you totally underestimate or write off blows your taste buds away and humbles you.

I knew that chocolate mousse would have to be the final element of my bistro inspired Valentine’s Day meal.  But as I have a penchant for not leaving well enough alone, I decided to pay homage to one of my favorite movies, Chocolat, by including a little spice courtesy of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne {similar to what I did here} – not very much, just enough to give it some warmth and depth of flavor.  Top with a simple whipped cream and shaved chocolate and you are sure to fall in love with chocolate mousse all over again, just like I did.  Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Recipe continued after the jump…




Adapted from David Lebovitz, which was adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

  • 6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped {I used Guittard bittersweet}
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 c. dark-brewed coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 c., plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 heaping tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate for garnish

Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.  In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise.  {You can also use a handheld electric mixer.}

Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick.  Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy {I used a KitchenAid, but you could also use a hand held mixer}. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape.  Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.  Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.

Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.  In a separate bowl, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add sugar and continue to whisk until desired consistency is reached {don’t over-whisk}.  Dollop whipped cream over chilled mousse and, using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate over whipped cream.  If desired, sprinkle a very small amount of cayenne pepper on top.





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19 Responses to bringing the bistro home – part deux – chocolat-inspired chocolate mousse

  1. Beautiful, I am also doing a David Lebovitz recipe for my Valentines Day post. Your mousse is perfection.

  2. shellakers says:

    LOVE Chocolate Mousse! Yours looks like a great recipe and a fairly easy one. Thanks!

  3. This looks delightful, I especially like the addition of coffee, and what better than a recipe derived from 2 of my favourites -Leibovitz and Child. Thanks.

  4. Michelle says:

    I’d definitely like a reservation at this bistro!

  5. oh i so agree about being humbled by food at an older age..i still don’t like brussle sprots though…this mousse looks just wonderful, i love how you served it in such a beautiful glass…looks just elegant…lovely post..sarah

  6. Delicious! You know, I have never seen the appeal of chocolate mousse either, but the addiction of that brewed coffee, that little bit of cayenne and cinnamon … I can imagine it’s delicious. Coffee has an awesome way of making chocolate taste that much more chocolate-y — it’s a magic ingredient that not many people know about =)

    Gorgeous pics too, Lindsay, I especially like the second to the last one, just makes me want to have a spoonful! =)

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha! Yes! I agree. I think good ol’ Ina was the first person who made me appreciate the chocolate-enhancing properties of coffee! 🙂 Thank you Christina for your kind wods. xo

  7. Reblogged this on Haute Mom Living and commented:
    Amazing and the photos I feel don’t even do it justice & those are exquisite as well. Well done Fleur de Sel!!!

  8. petit4chocolatier says:

    I love this!

  9. Claire D says:

    This I have to make! Your mousse looks rich and creamy – beautifully done!

  10. Cecile says:

    I haven’t made chocolate mouse in years – this recipe looks amazing! Gonna make it soon!

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