Today we celebrate National Chocolate Mousse Day, a fabulous day dedicated to a decadently tasty dessert that was all the rage in France during the 1800s. The word mousse translates from the French to mean “foam” or “froth” so it’s not surprising no translation was made when coming to the States. Savory mousse dishes were developed in France during the 18th century, and dessert mousses came much later during the second half of the 19th century. The first written record of chocolate mousse in the United States comes from a Food Exposition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1892.
To celebrate, Philippe agreed to make some “mousse au chocolat” for me today! Though there are many different recipes for this dessert, his consists of simply bittersweet chocolate, egg whites, coffee extract, and a pinch of salt (recipe for his simple and light version below!). Americanized versions of the dessert are easy to spot as they typically include triple the ingredients, triple the sugar and a lot of saturated fat. Which is a shame, because, when chocolate is involved who needs much else? But I feel the same about coffee and then watch people do everything they can to disguise the taste, so to each his own I guess.
The biggest problem with chocolate mousse is the excrutiating wait time before it’s actually ready to serve. Most recipes say to let it sit for 6 hours in the refrigerator before serving. My sense of immediate gratification crushed. Luckily, we typically wait just 2-3 hours and go for it, so it should be ready after dinner tonight. But after the prep time and wait, celebrating this amazing day couldn’t be easier. Simply grab a spoon and dig in!
Join me any and all days you like during April by celebrating a National or International Day with a doodlewash! Tag your image #doodlewashaday and I’ll feature everyone who played along on doodlewash.com at the end of the month!
Recipe for Philippe’s Mousse Légère Au Chocolat Noir
• 226g of Bittersweet Chocolate 66% Cocoa
• 6 egg whites
• ½ teaspoon coffee extract
• Pinch of salt
• (optional) Drop of lemon juice
Start by beating the whites in a stand mixer on medium speed. Optionally, you can add a drop of lemon juice to help form the mousse. Once egg whites start to foam, turn up to high speed until firm.
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in the microwave until melted. Add the coffee extract to the melted chocolate. Once the chocolate is no longer hot but still melted, gently fold it into the egg whites until no clumps of white remain. Let the mousse sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours prior to serving.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Pyrrol Red, Permanent Green Pale, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal