This holiday season I’m not hosting any big dinners. It’s the first time in several years, and I’m happy to play the part of dinner guest rather than party planner at the end of what has been an incredibly tough year. My sister, sisters-in-law and I have 12 kids between us, so we all pitch in to help with the food for each of our celebrations, and this year I’m finding myself on dessert duty for almost every get-together.
I’m really excited about the dessert I’ve come up with this year. I decided to do a throwback to my catering days and make what was, at the time, the most popular dessert on our menu: a classic chocolate mousse. This dessert has a lot of redeeming qualities, not the least of which are:
- The recipe contains only 5 ingredients. (And a pinch of salt!)
- There is no cooking required, other than melting some chocolate.
- It must be made in advance. As we all know, that’s secret #1 to fuss-free entertaining.
- It is crowd-pleasing for kids and adults alike. Just be sure not to serve this to pregnant women, as it’s made with raw eggs.
Topping chocolate mousse with whipped cream is essential, but here are a few other fun serving ideas:
- Instead of eating the mousse with spoons, you can use biscuits or shortbread cookies.
- Top with any or all of the following: shaved dark chocolate, sprinkles, sugared cranberries, fresh raspberries, crushed candy canes, etc.
- If you’re serving this to adults only, add a tablespoon or two of Kahlua or Grand Marnier to the chocolate/egg yolk mixture before folding with the egg whites.
- Instead of serving this in one large bowl like I do, you can divide the mousse into individual servings instead. It looks especially fancy if you portion it into champagne coupes.
As always, I do suggest using the best quality ingredients that your budget will allow for. Seeing as there are so few of them, it will make a difference in the overall taste of the recipe.
Classic Chocolate Mousse
- 1 ¼ cup best-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 large organic eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup cold whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Melt chocolate chips in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
2. Separate the eggs into two medium mixing bowls. Add salt and 1 tablespoon sugar to the egg whites and whip until they reach the stiff peak stage (think Troll hair, not Smurf hat).
3. Whisk the egg yolks until well blended. Quickly stir the melted chocolate into the egg yolks until just combined.
4. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until combined. Take care to do this delicately so as not to completely deflate them. You want the mixture to become one uniform colour.
5. Pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and refrigerate for three hours minimum.
6. Before serving, in a medium mixing bowl using an electric or hand-held mixer, whip the cream, vanilla and remaining sugar until stiff peaks appear. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the mousse and serve with desired toppings, if using.