Creme au Chocolat Meringuee (frozen chocolate mousse made with meringue)

This recipe comes from Simone ‘Simca’ Beck (you know her-she’s the lady who co-authored Mastering the Art of French Cooking with Julia Child).  Simca’s cookbook named Simca’s Cuisine is a book full of great menus for different occasions and this recipe comes from ‘A menu for all seasons’ which also includes pork braised with bourbon, timbales of lettuce pureed with shallots and cream, sauteed broccoli and a green salad with vinaigrette.  Perhaps next time I will make the other dishes from the menu but I only made the frozen chocolate this time.

 My Grandmother gave me this book (it was hers and it’s a First Edition!!) for Christmas this past year and while reading through it I saw this recipe and have kept it in mind since then for Mom. You see this past weekend was Mother’s Day weekend and my Mom LOVES chocolate mousse.  I mean loves-it’s her favorite dessert-so it was only fitting.

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I’ll be honest. It was intimidating making a recipe from this book. There are no photos (which like to have), some of the other dishes seemed so rare/unheard of/dishes from back in the day (timbales of lettuce?! say what?!) and it’s by Simca. But once I took time to read and understand the recipe, measure out everything before I started and carefully follow her instructions it was really pretty easy.  It also didn’t take long at all to put together.  I did not include the optional Nougatine but I would imagine it adds a nice crunch (see bottom of post for recipe).

This mousse is RICH. Super rich. It’s not overly sweet at all because of the coffee added but rich none-the-less.  I must admit I’m not a huge chocolate fan-but I like this-a lot.  It’s not the typical lighter chocolate mousse infused with air.  It’s a dark, very dark chocolatey velvety textured concoction.  I imagine that fresh whipped cream on top would really be delicious as well.

We served it with a pot of tea and grilled pineapple as you can see in the photo below. The somewhat tart somewhat sweet warm pineapple went really well with the rich chocolate.  By the way if you’ve never grilled pineapple you’re really missing out.  We also drizzled some of  this caramel sauce onto it. Yummy!!!

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Creme au Chocolat Meringuee (frozen chocolate mousse made with meringue)

Ingredients:

  • 1&1/2 tbsp powdered instant coffee (I used 3 envelopes of Starbucks Via Colombia)
  • 7 ozs German’s sweet chocolate (cut into small pieces)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp confectioners sugar

Instructions:

  1. Set a double boiler on the stove and heat to a simmer.  Add the coffee and 1.5 tbsp boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl beat the yolks and granulated sugar with a hand-held mixer until they are pale and creamy yellow.  Place the double boiler with chocolate back over the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture. Stir until it almost reaches a boil then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer beat the egg whites with the salt until they are white and frothy-about 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat for about 5 minutes longer until the whites have increased in volume and the meringue is firm and very white ( look for a peak at the end of a finger dragged through).
  4. Gently fold the meringue into the tepid chocolate mixture (rewarm if necessary) being careful to incorporate all of the chocolate and meringue without breaking the egg whites.
  5. Pour into containers and place in freezer.

Nougatine (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts or other nuts
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Put the walnuts into the oven to warm but not brown.
  3. Oil a metal baking sheet.
  4. Put 3 tbsp of water with the sugar into an enameled sauce pan and boil to form a light caramel sauce. Immediately add the warmed walnuts, stir to distribute the walnuts, and pour the nougatine onto the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer.
  5. Set it aside to cool and harden and then chop into rough pieces.

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