Although I was able to share the first JC100 recipe with you before heading off to Boston to celebrate my birthday, I didn't have time enough to cook through it myself or to see if I could successfully create a rolled omelette à la Julia Child. Missing the opportunity to participate fully fueled my desire to prepare the next recipe in the series -- Mousseline au Chocolat (Chocolate Mousse).
I was going to make Julia's chocolate mousse in my kitchen... No matter what!
Of course, in order to do that, I had to assemble the proper ingredients. And that meant a trip to our local liquor store to pick up orange liqueur. After standing in the middle of the aisle for 10 minutes engaging in an internal debate over which brand of liqueur to buy, I finally grabbed a bottle of Grand Marnier and headed toward the front of the store.
It was while I was standing in line that I noticed the display of miniature bottles of alcohol right next to the registers. And they had a miniature bottles of Grand Marnier! Just the right amount of liqueur needed for the recipe for a price that didn't make my stomach lurch. I returned the larger bottle to its home on the shelf and grabbed one of the mini versions.
I handed him my driver's license.
"You look fifteen. I had to card you."
"I completely understand."
Square of Semisweet Baking Chocolate
Feeling pretty good about being carded, I dove head-first into the recipe. The time spent preparing the mousse went by in a harried blur. Even though the equipment required to make the recipe was explicitly delineated in Julia's recipe, I still managed way more bowls and spoons that I anticipated. Thank goodness Stephen wasn't home while I was cooking... His head would've probably exploded.
Or, he would've just shook his head before turning around and walking out of the kitchen.
You guys.. The work and the mess was totally worth it. I mean, just look at what I slid into the refrigerator to set for two hours.
Looking back, I should have cut the recipe rather than making the full one. Stephen and I didn't really need "about 5 cups" of chocolate mousse tempting us in the refrigerator. I wasn't really thinking when I made enough mousse to feed "6 to 8 people".
What saved me was my decision to use 4-oz. Ball canning jars to serve the mousse. I filled 10 canning jars and, given the richness of the mousse, 4 ounces (thereabouts) was the perfect portion size. Plus, the mousse looked adorable in those jars.
Lusciously decadent and sinfully rich, eating just one spoonful of this stuff makes you feel like you're getting away with something truly naughty.
Go on and be naughty. You know you want to.
Julia would want it that way.
For about 5 cups serving 6 to 8 people
- 4 eggs, divided
- 3/4 cup instant sugar (very finely granulated)
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- 6 ounces or squares semisweet baking chocolate
- 4 tablespoons strong coffee
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup glazed orange peel, finely diced (optional)
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar together [in a 3-quart porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl] until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon.
- Beat in the orange liqueur.
- Set mixing bowl over [a pan of] not-quite-simmering water and continue beating for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger.
- Beat over [a basin of] cold water for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbons. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
- Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water [i.e. double-boiler]. Remove from the 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.
- [In a separate bowl], beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
- Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest.
- Turn into serving dish, dessert cups, or petit pots. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Excerpted from Master the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright ©1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
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