It’s been around 30°C/90°F for several days now and as much as I love when the sun and my shorts come out (every Seattlite observes the sun with wonderment in their eyes), I’m melting.
For the last two nights, I’ve woken up in a sweat in bed, and had to move myself and my pillow over to the floor in front of the window.
The beauty of Seattle is no matter how hot it gets during the day, it always gets nice and cool at night. Unfortunately, sometimes it can take a little time for the indoors to catch up with the outdoors.
With the weather this way, there was no way I was turning on the oven.
So I went in search of desserts that didn’t require actual “baking”. I came across a lot of no-bake oatmeal cookies and elaborate rice krispy squares, but I wanted to make something I hadn’t done before.
And then I found mousses. I like mousse as a component in a bigger recipe, maybe as a layer in a cake or trifle, but I generally find mousse on its own to be a little so-so.
But then I found a mousse recipe rather unlike most I had seen before.
It had no dairy in it. I’m used to seeing mousse being all about whipped heavy cream, but apparently this standard exists mostly because people are afraid of raw eggs these days.
I am not afraid of raw eggs.
The recipe I found went old school, consisting only of chocolate, coffee, eggs and sugar.
I was greatly intrigued. I wasn’t sure I had ever had mousse bubbled purely from egg whites before, despite it being the true definition of ‘mousse’.
One thing that always troubled me about mousse was it never seemed as impactful as wanted it to be on flavour. I always blamed the bubbles for this, but I think it’s actually because it always just tasted like a milky version of its flavour.
This mousse hits you in the face with flavour. It is not shy about its chocolate or its coffee profiles. It is downright decadent.
It almost feels as thought the bubbles exist as a requirement so you don’t die from the level of decadence that would exist if the coffee and chocolate were allowed to live together in a solid, bubble-free mass.
I’m so sorry mousse.
I understand now.
Adapted from Frugal Feeding
- 200g bitersweet chocolate (preferrably 60-70%)
- 100ml espresso or incredibly strong brewed coffee (I like stovetop espresso for this)
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons caster/superfine sugar (if you use coffee instead of espresso, only use 2 tablespoons)
- Melt the chocolate together with the coffee in a double boiler or a makeshift double boiler consisting of a bowl over a pot of lightly boiling water. Chocolate will appear to seize when it first starts to melt and combine with the coffee, but as the rest of the chocolate melts, it should incorporate together smoothly. Remove from heat.
- Whisking constantly, beat the egg yolks into the chocolate, one at a time.
- Transfer the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and beat until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue to beat until they begin to form stiff peaks – be careful not to over beat. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts.
- Transfer the mixture into the vessels of your choice (For the pictures I used big mugs, but small teacups are a much better serving size. This stuff is intense!). Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge to set for an hour. Serve with a spoon, and a dollop of whipped cream if you must.
Keeps covered in the fridge for a few days, but it does fall a small amount after the first day.