Chocolate mousse is one of those French dishes that are really pretty simple once you get over any fear of starting from scratch, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Yes, you can make it from a mix, but I think it’s better homemade.
You may have second thoughts if you’ve never whipped your own cream before. But that shouldn’t stop you. (After all, if you’re really cautious, you can get canned whipped cream — did I really just write that?)
Here’s a quick class in turning whipping cream into whipped cream: Buy actual whipping cream that’s labeled as such, keep it cold, chill the beaters of your electric mixer and the bowl you’re using, run it at a medium speed until . . . well, you know what whipped cream looks like, and it should also be about twice the size of what you started with. In this recipe, you’ll want to go from ¾ of a cup to 1 ½ cup.
“Folding” in this case means not quite mixing — lifting up little bits of the chocolate mixture and letting them fall into the whipped cream. If you press on it any harder, you may unwhip the cream. Likewise, be very gentle when adding the last quarter cup of chocolate chips.
If you’ve read other mousse recipes, you may notice I’ve left out whipped egg whites. That’s just a precaution; raw eggs are safer than they once were, but you don’t need them for this.
I actually garnished this with some cherries from a fruitcake mix left over from Christmas. My taster said they added a lot to the dish — but it’s your call.
- 1-1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, divided
- ¾ cup + 2 Tb. whipping cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Cherries (optional)
- Put the bowl you plan to use (it should be at least medium) and the beaters from your electric mixer into the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
- Meanwhile, melt one cup of chocolate chips with the vanilla and two tablespoons of cream (either in a small pan over low heat, or at half power in the microwave for about a minute).
- Let the chocolate mixture cool, but don’t chill it.
- Whip the cream in the chilled bowl and with the chilled beaters on your mixer.
- Gently fold it into the chocolate mixture. (A rubber spatula is the ideal tool.)
- You don’t have to combine them completely.
- When you’re almost done, scatter in the ¼ cup of chocolate chips and give it one more quick fold.
- Refrigerate for two hours before serving. Put in dessert dishes first if you want.
- Garnish with cherries or valentine sprinkles (optional).