Jan 18 2010

Mousse au Chocolat!

Published by at 10:23 pm under Dessert

Tonight I made my very first pie. In fact, pie-making was previously so far off my radar that I had to go out and buy a pie pan at my trusty 24-hour grocery store in which to make my pie. But I suspect it will be the first of many. Here’s how it all started.

Once, when visiting my assistant John and his friends in Los Angeles, I decided to play the gracious guest and bring a housewarming gift. Thanks to my frequent enjoyment of Paula Deen on Paula’s Home Cooking, my dad gave me a signed copy of her cookbook for Christmas last year, so I turned to her for the perfect cookie recipe. Don’t get me wrong: I’m just as appalled as the next person when Paula throws some ham and mayo in between two doughnuts and calls it a sandwich — whilst noting her A+ cholesterol levels — but we’d all be lying if we pretended she’s not the perfect Southern grandmother we wish we’d had. And the lady can make a dessert.

John grew up eating at least six Oreos a night, so I chose Paula’s Chocolate Sandwich Cookies for my homemade treat. They are as decadent as they sound: two chewy chocolate-y cookies held together by a thick layer of sweet cream cheese frosting. To this day, I’ve never received so much praise for anything else I have cooked.

Recently, after buying some truly beautiful orange tulips as a gift for me, my assistant subtly reminded me that it had been awhile since I’d made said cookies, which have come to be his favorite. But I wanted to try something a little different.

Tonight I watched Julie & Julia (I know I’m about six months late) and was inspired to whip up some of Julia Child’s perfect Chocolate Mousse. But putting my own spin on it, I made the mousse into a pie using a graham cracker crust (my favorite). And besides a couple of initial concerns about its consistency and that extra trip to the store I had to make, it turned out quite well!

Here’s Julia’s Chocolate Mousse recipe.

Ingredients:

8 oz. sweet or semi sweet baking chocolate — melted with 1/4  cup strong coffee
3 oz. unsalted butter (6 tbsp)
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream (make sure it’s the heavy variety)
3 egg whites
1/4  cup instant (finely ground) sugar

Beat the soft butter into the smoothly melted chocolate.  One by one, beat in the egg yolks. Beat the cream over ice until it leaves light traces on the surface.  Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. While beating, sprinkle in the sugar by spoonfuls and continue beating until stiff shining peaks are formed.  Scrape the chocolate mixture down the side of the egg-white bowl, and delicately fold in the whipped cream. Turn the mousse into attractive serving bowls. Cover and chill several hours. You may wish to decorate the mousse with swirls of whipped cream, or to pass whipped cream separately.

I made the mistake of buying unsweetened baking chocolate, which meant adding a LOT more sugar to this recipe, but it still turned out fantastic (if a little dark and rich for some tastes). For my crust, I followed this formula:

Crush 10 large graham crackers in a food processor. Mix with 5 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. sugar. Push onto the bottom and sides of a pie pan, and bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.

I piled the mousse onto the crust and refrigerated the whole thing overnight. The next day, I mixed up a whipped topping with the leftover heavy cream I had, adding sugar to taste. I also added a little cinnamon for extra flavor, which I highly recommend.

Enjoy! My assistant certainly did.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Mousse au Chocolat!”

  1. JTon 19 Jan 2010 at 11:46 am

    This is grade A chocolate mousse (and it’s in a pie with whipped cream on top)! I have suspended my nightly Oreo eating until this pie is finished…

    -The Assistant

  2. liv bites » My First Pieon 02 Nov 2010 at 5:09 pm

    […] Before last week, I had never really made a pie. Okay, there was this chocolate one and these mini tarts, but in terms of an old-fashioned, crusty, fruit-filled pie, I admit I’m […]