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Post Chocolate Mousse Recipes
January 30, 2007
11:09 pm
ChemicalMachine
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I just made chocolate mousse for the first time, with a slightly modified version of the recipe on Lindt’s website. http://www.lindtusa.com/chocom…..e%20Mousse

I changed the recipe by adding a little extra sugar and using two bars of Valhrona Le Noir Amer 71% and one bar of Lindt Excellence 85% instead of the bars which the recipe calls for. The mousse tastes very good.

While searching for recipes, I was suprised by the amount of variability. It seems that just about any ingredient other than the chocolate can be omitted. Lindt’s recipe omits butter.

In an old thread, Lone Ly wrote:

quote:


Wow, thanks! Can I ask what chocolate you use for the mousse? I used to make mousse from different bars – more or less your recipe, varying with/without cream, with/without egg whites, sugar instead of icing sugar, no coffe – evt cognac or something. To me it is a huge difference between bars. Amedei’s Chuao is great with salted butter and lots of eggs, whilst their Toscano Black 70% is better with lots of cream. Valrhona’s Guanaja “needs” liqueur or cognac I think. Haven’t tried Caraibe.


http://seventypercent.com/foru…..PIC_ID=240

I would like to hear which recipes everyone likes to use with particular chocolates.

January 31, 2007
10:46 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by ChemicalMachine

I just made chocolate mousse for the first time, with a slightly modified version of the recipe on Lindt’s website. http://www.lindtusa.com/chocom…..e%20Mousse

I changed the recipe by adding a little extra sugar and using two bars of Valhrona Le Noir Amer 71% and one bar of Lindt Excellence 85% instead of the bars which the recipe calls for. …

While searching for recipes, I was suprised by the amount of variability. It seems that just about any ingredient other than the chocolate can be omitted. Lindt’s recipe omits butter.


Yes, indeed chocolate mousse has a lot of variations depending on the recipe. I personally am of an opinion that the “canonical form” should include chocolate, cream, and eggs (and optionally sugar) but there is no particular reason you can’t delete either the cream or the eggs and end up with a result that will be some form of mousse.

In an old thread, Lone Ly wrote:

quote:


To me it is a huge difference between bars. Amedei’s Chuao is great with salted butter and lots of eggs, whilst their Toscano Black 70% is better with lots of cream. Valrhona’s Guanaja “needs” liqueur or cognac I think. Haven’t tried Caraibe.


Those are suprising opinions. Of the bars mentioned, I think of Guanaja as the one that would *least* benefit from liqueurs of any form because all they would do is mask its complexity. I would think of the Toscano Black as being the best partner for such spirits if you wanted to include them.

My basic recipe is a “3-2-1″ recipe. So, you take 3 parts (bittersweet) chocolate, 2 parts cream, 1 part eggs. It’s fairly straightforward to approximate an egg as 50 g so as to standardise, and then for 6 people I might use 300g chocolate, 200g cream, 100g (or 2) eggs. You melt the chocolate as usual in a double-boiler and separate the eggs. Then you beat the yolks until they become pale lemon and clearly foamy. Next, beat the cream until it becomes stiff, then slowly beat in (not fold) the chocolate. After this has been done beat in the egg yolks. Finally, whip the whites into stiff peaks and fold those in.

Using some sugar helps to stabilise the egg whites, but tends to lead to a slightly less creamy texture. So I tend to avoid this option. If you wanted to use it then 25g sugar will be more than enough. You’d beat it in as the whites became stiff.

On the chocolate choices, I favour Madagascar origins. Amedei’s Madagascar is the best choice of all. You cold use the Lindt Madagascar, and stay with the Lindt theme, but it’s pretty mild, and in a mousse would probably disappear. The new Mora Mora Malagasy Madagascar would be a better second option.

Another good origin is Colombia. Guittard’s Chucuri is the best-executed Colombia IMHO by a slight margin but again, at 65%, isn’t quite strong enough. Mousse I think needs at least the power of a 70% in order to offset the low density. A better choice, and virtually equally good anyway, is the Pralus Colombia.

A third, excellent, interesting choice would be Domori’s Puertomar (Ocumare 61). It is quite different from the other 2 in how the mousse turns out flavour-wise, and thus is nice to experiment with as a second or third attempt.

I can also say that some chocolates decidedly do NOT work. Pralus’ Venezuela is one. Excellent by itself, it makes mousse seem leaden and ashy. Cluizel’s Amer 72% is another. Here, one of the truly great chocolates of the world creates a mousse that is impossibly generic and bland. In fact, as a rule, chocolates with a “chocolatey” flavour component dominating don’t fare well in mousse, because cream flattens that particular taste heavily. Toscano Black 70% is a third – as you saw above I recommended jazzing it up a bit with a spirit because it needs the boost in order to liven it.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
February 1, 2007
9:51 am
Chrissie
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Alex,

If you were adding a liqueur to the recipe, at which point would you add it?

Also, do you find adding some liqueur or spirit affects the texture as adding sugar does?

Christine

February 2, 2007
12:23 am
Alex Rast
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quote:


Originally posted by Chrissie

Alex,

If you were adding a liqueur to the recipe, at which point would you add it?


Beat in with the egg yolks while whipping them into a froth. The yolks will help to trap the flavour.

quote:


Also, do you find adding some liqueur or spirit affects the texture as adding sugar does?


Not really, because the amount added is so small. (I trust) [;)]

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
February 2, 2007
1:43 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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I’d normally use less cream, purely personal preference. And I find that replacing most of whole eggs with egg whites – so in Alex’s recipe I’d use 3 egg whites and 1 egg yolk – makes a resulting taste cleaner, more about chocolate.

February 5, 2007
12:20 pm
Chrissie
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Here is the recipe for Chocolate Mousse that Heston Blumenthal uses as part of his Black Forest Gateau:

4 egg yolks
200g unrefined caster sugar
100ml whole milk
150g Amedei Chuao
generous pinch of table salt
200ml whipping cream

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar for 5 minutes until white and thick. Gently warm the milk in a small pan. Remove it from the heat and stir in the beaten egg yolks. Return to a medium heat and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Use a digital probe to monitor when the temperature of the mixture reaches 80*C/175*F, and remove from the heat. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl. Pour the warm milk and eggs over the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the salt and leave to cool. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture and chill.

I have not yet tried this recipe so I don’t know how successful it is. It doesn’t seem to have that large a proportion of chocolate in it so it may be quite mild in flavour. Also without the egg whites it is probably quite dense. I like the idea of adding a little salt though, I quite enjoy salted chocolate.

February 5, 2007
2:06 pm
Chrissie
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Looking at the above recipe again it looks like it might end up being really sweet too.

March 25, 2007
2:34 pm
Chrissie
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Help!

I just can’t seem to get chocolate mousse right. It always seems to come out too firm, a bit dry and almost crumbly in texture. I tried Alex’s recipe above with Amedei Chuao and although it has a lovely flavour the texture just isn’t right. What could I be doing wrong?

Christine

March 25, 2007
9:09 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by Chrissie

Help!

I just can’t seem to get chocolate mousse right. It always seems to come out too firm, a bit dry and almost crumbly in texture. I tried Alex’s recipe above with Amedei Chuao and although it has a lovely flavour the texture just isn’t right. What could I be doing wrong?

Christine


Somewhere in the process you’re allowing the air in one of the components to collapse, from what it sounds like. I strongly suspect it’s the egg whites. It’s easy to overfold and end up collapsing everything – which will give you the texture you describe. Part of that also is that with overfolding the chocolate tends to “break” like ganache can, losing emulsion and becoming stiff.

Another distinct possibility that I forgot to mention is that you must use “heavy cream” – labelled as such – not “whipping cream”, in the USA. In Britain it’s made easier because you just use double cream. But either way, it must have at least 40% milkfat.

Are you bringing ingredients to room temperature? If not, do so. Hot chocolate mixed into cold cream will definitely “break”, and this is doubly true with egg yolks. The yolks, btw, should take a while to beat to proper consistency. Wait until they become *really* fluffy and pale. I use a hand mixer. Are you using a stand mixer? Stand mixers don’t beat as well as hand mixtures for this kind of operation, because the beaters don’t touch the bottom, thus leaving a gap for unincorporated ingredients to settle. Also, the planetary action isn’t as efficient as the motion one gets with one’s hands, especially since you can look at what you’re doing and get the beaters into the unincoporated mix.

The egg whites should be stiff but not hyper-stiff. The “knife test” works well: a knife should cut the whites smoothly, not cleanly. If they cut as cleanly as Styrofoam then you’ve overbeaten.

These are the little things one takes for granted: parts of the process that I’ve always just done, forgetting to think about how it might be a pretty sensitive process (which is the case with chocolate mousse, to be sure).

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
March 26, 2007
1:27 pm
Chrissie
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Alex,

Thanks for the tips. Looks like it might be a case of overfolding and not having the ingredients at room temperature. I also might have slightly underwhipped the egg whites.

I thought perhaps I’d overwhipped the double cream a little too and was going to try using whipping cream instead as it tends not to change so quickly from nicely whipped to overwhipped. The cream was a good texture until I beat in the chocolate, then it looked like it went a bit too far. I suppose that could have been a result of the temperature differential though too. If you say double cream is better than whipping cream then I’ll stick with that.

I think I’m going to have to try experimenting with less expensive chocolate until I get it right. This batch was definitely a waste of about £7 worth of amazing chocolate :(

Thanks again Alex for your help,

Christine

October 26, 2007
12:23 am
ChemicalMachine
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I made my second batch of mousse today.

I tried Alex’s 3-2-1 recipe. I first whipped one egg yolk. Then I added 100 grams of heavy whipping cream and whipped the mixture. Then I added 150 grams of melted Lindt 70% and whipped the mixture. Finally I whipped 1 egg white with a teaspoon of sugar and folded it in.

My last batch turned too hard after it was refrigerated, so I sat down and ate most of this while it was still warm. I did refrigerate a sample, and it turned too stiff again.

My warm mousse was quite good, but not as good as the cold mousse which I have had at restaurants.

October 27, 2007
12:41 am
Alex Rast
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quote:


Originally posted by ChemicalMachine

I made my second batch of mousse today.

I tried Alex’s 3-2-1 recipe. I first whipped one egg yolk. Then I added 100 grams of heavy whipping cream and whipped the mixture. Then I added 150 grams of melted Lindt 70% and whipped the mixture. Finally I whipped 1 egg white with a teaspoon of sugar and folded it in.


Probably the reason you got a stiffer texture than you would have liked was that you added the cream to the beaten yolks and then beat the mixture. IME a cream-egg yolk mixture doesn’t whip very well and builds little volume. (Food scientists – explanation?) So you may well have only had about as much air as what had been in the beaten yolks, perhaps slightly more.

Then beating in the chocolate possibly made things worse. What air was there may well have been lost with the incorporation of the chocolate. Beating chocolate into pure whipped cream causes an effect where as the chocolate solidifies during beating (because you’re exposing it to cool air), it stabilises the whipped-cream mixture. With minimal air loss you end up with an aerated chocolate whip that itself is a decent mousse, although it, cooled, does tend to be rather solid (I use this kind of mixture for filling cakes, when you want the filling to have good structure so that cake layers don’t slide around or subside). I haven’t actually tried mixing chocolate into a beaten cream/yolk mixture (my experiments with cream and yolks were for a coffee mousse), so I don’t know exactly what would happen, but seeing the poor results when trying to whip cream and egg yolks I wouldn’t expect any miracles.

So then, if what I suspect happened did in fact happen, most if not all the air in your final mixture came from the whites, and even that would have lost considerable volume in folding, because of the density of your other mixture. I’m also a bit alarmed that you describe your initial mousse as “warm”. Was it really warm, as in noticeably above room temperature, or simply close to RT? If it was that warm then the chocolate was too hot when you beat it in, and would have melted the much of what air pockets existed in the cream: the process of beating should reduce the chocolate/cream mixture to close to RT, best achieved by cooling the chocolate to just above the temper point. What was the consistency of your yolk/cream/chocolate mix? It should be very close, at near RT, to that of a restaurant cooled mousse, perhaps a bit looser. Thicker than that and you’d be in trouble with folding in the whites and the end would surely have been quite dense. The idea is, with the yolk/chocolate/cream at the consistency of cold mousse on its own, when you add the whites that increases the volume to the point where it’s very light and airy, once chilled (and at RT it should be loose enough to pour from the bowl).

Is it possible you were trying to get by with using 2 bowls? If so then that was overly optimistic. You need at least 3 bowls, one for yolks, one for chocolate and cream, one for whites. You also need to be sure to wash the beaters between each beating, until you get to the point where you’re beating the contents of one bowl into that of another.

Finally, halving the recipe may well have caused problems. I’ve found that with small batches of recipes involving chocolate and cream, your results can be maddeningly inconsistent. I get the feeling this is to do with heat capacities and thermal conductivities. Anyway, that could have meant not enough total air in the first place, once things were whipped, to get to the right consistency.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
November 6, 2007
11:42 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by Alex_Rast

quote:


Originally posted by ChemicalMachine

I made my second batch of mousse today.

I tried Alex’s 3-2-1 recipe. I first whipped one egg yolk. Then I added 100 grams of heavy whipping cream and whipped the mixture. Then I added 150 grams of melted Lindt 70% and whipped the mixture. Finally I whipped 1 egg white with a teaspoon of sugar and folded it in.


Finally, halving the recipe may well have caused problems. I’ve found that with small batches of recipes involving chocolate and cream, your results can be maddeningly inconsistent. I get the feeling this is to do with heat capacities and thermal conductivities. Anyway, that could have meant not enough total air in the first place, once things were whipped, to get to the right consistency.


Technical update: I decided to do a little experimentation, because I had some ingredients sitting around left over from other things. I decided to try to replicate your method and see if I could detect where things went amiss. The results could not have been more clear-cut. Your problem was in trying to make the recipe in too small of a quantity.

I did bring all ingredients to room temp, as I’ve often recommended, since you didn’t mention if this was done or not – I felt reasonable in assuming for the sake of testing that it was. From that point on everything started to go wrong, and it was all because of quantities.

The egg yolk wouldn’t whip. There simply wasn’t enough of it, even in my smallest bowl, for it to catch in the beaters (of a small hand beater) and get any air. The beaters sort of pushed the yolk around the bowl (as a fluid mass, not still as a single yolk) without doing anything real. Right then I knew there were issues.

Seeing as this was problematic, I thought that rather than pour cream into it, I should instead test if the beaters would have any better effect with the small volume of cream in another bowl. Well, the effect was different, but still wrong. The power of the beaters in this case was too much for the cream, effectively churning it into something rather similar to butter with, again, remarkably minimal air incorporation. Knowing what was the inevitable result of further whipping (curds and whey) I stopped right there. About the only rescue that might be effected at this point would be to whip the chocolate in, which would at least stabilise the “buttercream”. More problems ensued. As expected with such a small volume even a slow drizzle melted the cream faster than the latter could get the chocolate aerated, so pretty quickly I had ganache base. This is rescuable – what I did was to continue whipping, and within a few minutes had a palish whipped ganache – not the desired result of course but about as close as one could get in the circumstances. So it would now be time to beat in the yolk, unaerated though it was.

New trouble, though. With the volume of chocolate being so low, it couldn’t retain the heat necessary to keep it from congealing. Within seconds, even before I could get the yolk bowl, the whipped mixture had set firmly. I was able essentially to “plough” the yolk in, but not without effort, and it broke up the whip into a somewhat crumbly mess.

So then it was time to see what would happen with the white. Whipping that with the balloon whisk attachment produced a whip that didn’t have the stability or dense, fine bubble structure of more egg whites. Here again volume was the culprit, for although the whisk could get some air in there, the effect was intermittent, and the whipping wasn’t efficient.

Attempting to fold this into the chocolate mixture wouldn’t have worked, so I opted for beating it in. Surprisingly, it didn’t do too bad on the deflation department but it certainly didn’t mix homogeneously. When I was done the mixture was smooth and silken, though, about the consistency one might get from a mousse rather on the denser side coming out of the fridge. I knew full well this was far from ideal and had a good idea of what the chilled outcome would be.

As predicted, the chilled version was firm and a bit crumbly, close to a terrine in consistency. Obviously un-mousse like and this was clear from the start because the ramekins that I used were much less than half-full for a recipe that should have filled them heaping over. We are therefore talking at best half the air and probably more. There was clearly *some* aeration but it was far from ideal.

Throughout the process, the problem, again and again, came down to amounts, and now I can see why small quantities don’t work. It’s a combination of insufficient heat capacity, resulting in premature cooling (and thus incorporation difficulties) and insufficient starting volume to give the beaters any purchase against the ingredients to get significant aeration. My conclusion is inescapable: the recipe will only work with 2 eggs, 8 oz cream, 12 oz chocolate at bare minimum. From what I observed I suspect the dynamics are similar in most mousse recipes, and thus I can feel fairly confident in a prediction with respect to why restaurant results are elusive at home. Restaurants are able to achieve light mousse because they are making in large volumes. The much greater total amount of ingredient gives them immeasurably better aeration because the beaters can be fully immersed in the ingredients as they are being whipped, and with the larger volumes you also get longer working times all round. Longer working time with the beaten whites, longer thermal stabilities of chocolate, everything. Furthermore with high-power, efficient Hobart mixers they probably manage more air as a relative proportion of volume to begin with. It seems reasonable to claim that top-quality mousse can only be made at a certain scale. Now that I think about it, all the times I’ve made mousse have been for large parties. It’s also abundantly clear that at the minimal volume I’ve listed a stand mixer of any form won’t work. It’s not just a matter of being suboptimal, it’ll have the same properties I noted in my experiment of not being able to catch enough surface area to get significant air incorporation.

I suspect these observations may be the solution to a lot of frustrated home chefs’ failed mousse experiements – they don’t realise that with larger quantities, very different dynamics can apply and it’s not necessarily possible to scale down recipes blindly – mousse is evidently one of the most glaring examples of this truth.

So, to all those whose mousses have come out worse that what you had at your favourite restaurant, I suggest radically increasing the quantity and trying again. The results you get may be dramatically different.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
November 8, 2007
2:26 am
gap
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And there will be more mousse to eat!!

November 21, 2007
7:23 am
gap
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Another recipe for chocolate mousse I found recently at:
http://pastryna.com/pastryap_video_5.htm
An oldie but a goodie (well at least for those of us who loved The Muppets)

Incidentally, this is a pretty good magazine. Not directly related to chocolate (rather pastry & baking), but has some interesting chocolate things nonetheless. For instance, this edition had directions for making a chocolate rose.

December 7, 2007
7:17 pm
ChemicalMachine
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I tried to make mousse again a few weeks ago, this time with three eggs, 300 grams cream, and 450 grams Lindt 70%. The mixture was more light and airy than my previous batches, but it turned hard and grainy again upon refrigeration.

I am thinking that perhaps there is too much cocoa butter in the mousse, as cocoa butter solidifies when cold. Perhaps I should use less chocolate or a different chocolate. If it is the cocoa butter solidifying, perhaps using cocoa powder and sugar is an easy solution.

July 26, 2008
12:20 am
Alex Rast
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quote:


Originally posted by ChemicalMachine

I tried to make mousse again a few weeks ago, this time with three eggs, 300 grams cream, and 450 grams Lindt 70%. The mixture was more light and airy than my previous batches, but it turned hard and grainy again upon refrigeration.

I am thinking that perhaps there is too much cocoa butter in the mousse, as cocoa butter solidifies when cold. Perhaps I should use less chocolate or a different chocolate. If it is the cocoa butter solidifying, perhaps using cocoa powder and sugar is an easy solution.


Technical Update #2: I suspect you’re right. Last night I made the mousse again, at your above quantity. It came out perfect – but I looked at the cocoa butter amount on the chocolate – and noticed it was definitely on the low side. That got me to thinking – I think I’ve always used a low-cocoa-butter chocolate when possible for the mousse, simply because I want strong chocolate impact, necessitating a proportionately lower cocoa butter amount so that the total cocoa solids percentage favours the defatted cocoa solids themselves (the flavour part).

Next time I’ll try an ultrapercentage cocoa butter formulation and see what happens. I think your crumbly texture is consistent with what would happen at high cocoa butter. The relative ratio of milkfat to cocoa butter is critical. If there isn’t enough milkfat the overall fat texture leans towards the hard solidity of cocoa butter, hence the crumbly consistency. I’m using British double cream (46% fat) versus
a low-fat (about 36% cocoa butter) chocolate – so I get close to equal ratio. But for instance, in a worst-case scenario involving U.S. whipping cream (usually about 36% fat) and very high cocoa butter in the chocolate e.g. 45%, your ratio would be very skewed: 1.875/1.

This again makes it clear that with chocolate especially, recipes can be surprisingly finicky.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com