Thursday, November 19, 2009

Easy as Pie...or Easy as Chocolate Mousse

That expression, "easy as pie", has always seemed pretty weird to me. At first, I thought it meant easy as baking a pie, in reference to the fact that pie-baking should be easy. Which, unless you buy a ready-made crust and canned filling, it's not. Making the dough, rolling it out, par-baking, you get the point. I later found out that "easy as pie", or "simple as pie", actually means as easy as sitting around to eat a slice of pie. That is, pretty much not doing anything.

Anyhow, to get back to the way people define simplicity, I find there's a real difference in France and in the U.S. In America, a simple dessert might be some kind of berry cobbler. A more upscale, fancy dessert would be chocolate mousse. France sees things in quite a different light. A cobbler would definitely be considered more elaborate than a mousse; in fact, go to my school cafeteria and you'll find chocolate mousse and crème caramel on any given day. Chocolate mousse is the kind of dessert that reminds you of your childhood and the simple things that taste good.

To tell you the truth, I hadn't had a mousse au chocolat in a really long time. Last time I could remember was making some in a huge bowl and scooping it out by the spoonful once it was set. No cute wine glasses or fancy serving bowls: chocolate mousse is best served family-style. Suddenly, about a week ago, the craving for mousse came along. The nice part of it is that this kind of craving doesn't involve any grocery list or extensive prepping. All you need are two things: chocolate and eggs.

But the best part is what makes baking and cooking a moment of pure happiness: the smile on your friend's face, proof that your dessert just hit the spot.

Chocolate Mousse
serves 2-3

2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
100g bittersweet chocolate (about 3.5 oz)

Melt chocolate over a double-boiler. Add egg yolks and a little sugar if desired, and mix.

In a different bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Take 1/4 of egg whites and incorporate to chocolate mixture.

Delicately incorporate remaining egg whites and chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving, and bring to room temperature at least 20 minutes prior to serving.
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Anonymous said...

this mousse looks like the real thing!

claudia said...

the simpler the mousse, the better! The mousse looks so festive in that glass!