Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday afternoon, I made la mousse au chocolat. I found a very simple recipe in Clémentine in the Kitchen by Samuel Chamberlain, a book given to me by a former student's parents (I wrote a recommendation for him for AFS, he was accepted and is now living in France for the year! Very brave thing to do at the age of 16, n'est-ce pas?) I love this book. It is set in Senlis, France, where my dear friend, Mme M, lives. I have spent a lot of time there and know it well. It is the story of an American family who moves to France and hires Clémentine as their cook. She feeds them very well and has notebooks full of handwritten recipes. Towards the end, she gets married and although the Beck family is very happy for her, they are forlorn at the thought of life (and meals!) without her. The young son of the family wrote the book and included quite a few of her recipes. Merci, monsieur!
The eaters in my house really liked it. At least the evidence would support that. I found empty cups in the sink...
La Mousse au Chocolat
(from Clémentine in the Kitchen by Samuel Chamberlain; Modern Library, 2001)
Bittersweet chocolate, eggs, rum or vanilla
In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt 1/2 pound of bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces, with 1/4 cup of water. Stir until it achieves a beautifully smooth consistency. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and stand it in cold water to cool, stirring occasionally.
Beat well the yolks of 5 eggs and add these to the chocolate, together with 1 teaspoon of rum or of vanilla extract. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and carefully but thoroughly fold in 5 stiffly beaten egg whites. Put this delectable substance into a serving bowl or individual ramekins and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Note: This is the simplest recipe for chocolate mousse you are likely to find and also very likely the best. You must, however, use chocolate of the finest quality. Also, use very fresh eggs, or the mousse may separate.
Bon appétit to all my eaters!