I have been cooking in various kitchens for over fifty years and yet I can still make rookie mistakes. A case in point took place a couple of weeks ago when I decided to make a Tyler Florence meal from appetizer to dessert.
Everything at the table was scarfed down with a great deal of gusto. And although the dessert, Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Chocolate Mousse, was rich and chocolaty I had to fess up at the dinner table that I had some difficulty making it and worried that it would be edible.
Now, I was very pleased all went well but was personally not satisfied so determined that I would revisit the recipe to see just what I did wrong and make it again. When I did I was shocked to discover just exactly how I, goddess of the kitchen, made so many novice mistakes.
The first thing I did wrong, I didn’t read the recipe. I can’t explain it except to say that after so many years I have gotten cocky in the kitchen so when I saw the words 6 ounces of chocolate I completely missed the word semisweet. All I saw was chocolate and was pleased that I already had a package of unsweetened chocolate in the house.
Then when it came to adding the egg yolks to the melted chocolate I failed to remove the chocolate from the heat and let it cool off a bit. I was using a double boiler and left the top pot on the heated water too long. The end result was chocolate that was thick, muddy looking and hard to whisk.
Then when I added the whipped cream mixture at the end I overworked it so much so that it became heavy. When I spooned the mixture into the glasses it just plopped. Not good.
Once chilled the chocolate had more the consistency of a semi-soft candy bar than a chocolate mousse. There was never any doubt that they would be eaten even though they turned out heavier than a mousse should. Every champagne glass was emptied in a blink of an eye with accompanying oohs and aahs. Although our guests kept saying things like, “Wow, this is so rich and good but a little thicker than a mousse usually is.”
So, back to the kitchen I went to redo the recipe with more attentiveness. Fortunately, I still had enough whipping cream left over so I only had to get semisweet chocolate.
I used the double boiler again but this time I removed the chocolate from the hot water and let it set aside for just a few minutes. This time when I whisked the egg yolks in the chocolate mixture was smooth and glossy. When it came time to add in the whipped cream, vanilla and remaining sugar mixture I took care to not overwork the folding process.
The chocolate spooned perfectly into the glasses and chilled to just the right consistency. The first time I made it I used milk chocolate shavings to offset the dark, unsweetened chocolate. This time I did the opposite. I used dark chocolate shavings and sweet whipped cream to top off the mousses.
Once they were chilled I called my official taste testers, Bob and Eva and told Eva to come to the back door in fifteen minutes I would be bringing them a goody. As I turned the corner around their shrubbery that separates our homes Eva met me at the back door and said, “You have us like Pavlov’s dogs whenever you call. You have us so conditioned to jump whenever you call about food”.
Later the next day when Eva came to return our glasses she said that the mousses didn’t even stay in the refrigerator an hour before she and Bob had to eat them. As she was leaving she exclaimed, “Now that was a chocolate mousse! Just wonderful.”
All is well, once again, in my goddess of the kitchen world. I had no choice but to make this recipe once again. After all, how could I write about the good or bad aspects of the recipe if I did not use the exact ingredients and prepare as directed.
Now I promised to put in the nutritional facts so anyone reading this blog would see exactly what they would be consuming. The recipe is for four servings but I have included the nutritional information for eight servings also. The next time I make this recipe I will use my three ounce juice glass which will be just enough to enjoy but not over indulge.
While this recipe is very high in all areas I believe that people have to take into account that no one is going to make this dessert every day, week or even month. Rather this will be used as a special occasion dessert and trust me when I say it is worth whatever the calorie count is especially if you are trying to WOW a special someone. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts for serving size: ¼ of the recipe (4.9 ounces).Calories 511; Fat 36g (sat 21g); Protein 7.2g; Carb 47.18g; Fiber 2.51g;Sodium 69.9mg; Cholesterol 222.28mg.
Nutrition Facts for serving size: 1/8 of the recipe (2.5 ounces).Calories 255; Fat 18g (sat 10.5g); Protein 3.6g; Carb 23.59g; Fiber 1.25gSodium 34.95mg; Cholesterol 111.14mg