Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse

"There are so many different ways to make chocolate mousse that hardly any two recipes look alike. This version is my riff on a classic French mousse au chocolat – it’s dark and rich and starts with a sabayon of eggs whipped while cooked over a double boiler with sugar and some booze. Instead of whipping egg whites separately into a meringue, this technique leaves the eggs whole and saves you a pan or two in the process. I call for Marsala wine in the sabayon, but truth be told, a nice bourbon, rum or Grand Marnier all make wonderful substitutes.

Making chocolate mousse can be a daunting task if you don’t properly prepare ahead of time. Mise en place, the French culinary term for putting everything in its place before cooking, is essential here. The quality of the chocolate you choose might be your most important decision when preparing the mousse. It needs to be dark enough for the flavor to really shine through – 70 percent chocolate or more. Make sure not to buy chocolate chips meant for cookies; they don’t behave the same as high-quality chocolate bars due to their lower cocoa-butter content.

I recommend Springfield, Missouri-based Askinosie Chocolate’s 72% Mababu Tanzanian bars for this recipe. To serve, a large soufflé dish works if you don’t have individual dishes, as do punch cups, coffee mugs or small berry bowls."

6 to 8 mousse cups

from Christy Augustin in Feast Magazine

10½ oz 72% Mababu, Tanzania Dark Chocolate
¼ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch kosher salt
2 Tbsp Marsala wine (or other liquor)

Prepare a double boiler by heating 3 to 4 inches of water, covered, in a short sauce pot over medium-high heat. Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler, stir to combine and set aside in a warm place. Keep water simmering.

In a mixing bowl, whip cream and vanilla until medium soft peaks form; set aside in refrigerator.

In a medium metal or glass bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until foamy. Place bowl on top of pot of simmering water, whisking constantly. Sabayon will both thicken and become light and airy as it cooks. Cook, whisking, for approximately 5 to 6 minutes, until thickened and lines remain as you whisk. Pour melted chocolate mixture into sabayon and whisk to combine. Fold in whipped cream off heat. Scoop, pour or ladle finished mousse into serving dishes.

Refrigerate mousse overnight, up to 4 days, before serving.