Don’t Eat The Entire Bowl!
Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Orange Mousse
We served French fare for Christmas Eve this year using several recipes from the Barefoot Contessa’s Barefoot in Paris cookbook. As you can tell from the photo below, her Chocolate Orange Mousse is a recipe I make all the time (watch out for flying mousse!). Paris bistros frequently serve chocolate mousse family-style in a big communal bowl. At the beginning of Ina Garten’s recipe is a story about how her husband thought the bowl was all for him!
Fortunately, I had read and remembered that story while dining at Chez Janou in Paris, so we did not commit a faux pas when an enormous bowl of chocolate mousse was delivered to our table with a big wooden spoon for serving. As the waiter dropped it off, he offered this advanced warning, “You can have as much as you want. Just don’t eat out of the bowl.” Merci Beaucoup!
Notes from Ina: The chocolate and butter must be at room temperature before you combine them. Also, the egg whites will whip better if they are at room temperature.
Note from Tracy: Use a good quality chocolate bar that you would eat. Don’t use baking chocolate as that is unsweetened or very lightly sweetened.
This recipe makes a lot of mousse, and as it is so rich, I think smaller portions are in order. I could get 12 small servings out of this recipe, or you can also serve in a large communal bowl, Parisian-style!
I can’t even begin to tell you how decadent this dessert is… creamy, smooth dark chocolate with hints of orange, butter, sugar, chocolate, and eight eggs! Make it ahead and serve with shaved chocolate, mandarin orange slices, and whipped cream – waistline be damned. WOW!
Just in time for your New Year’s Eve fete … Bonne Année!
2 oz. good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
¼ c. Grand Marnier liqueur
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 sweet oranges, zested (try a Cara Cara orange)
1 ½ sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 extra-large eggs, separated
½ c. plus 2 T. sugar
½ c. heavy whipping cream, the colder, the better
Shaved bittersweet chocolate
Mandarin orange slices, drained
Combine the chocolates, Grand Marnier, ¼ cup water, and vanilla in the top of a double boiler or heat-proof bowl. Set it over a pan of simmering water just until the chocolate melts. Cool completely to room temperature.
Once cooled, stir or whisk in the butter and orange zest into the melted chocolate mixture.
In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar on high speed until very thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk 1 cup of egg whites (you will have leftovers), a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar on high speed until firm but not dry, about 2 minutes. Whisk half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold in the rest with a rubber spatula. Be gentle when folding in the remaining egg whites as you want the mousse to be light and fluffy.
Without cleaning the bowl or whisk, whip the heavy cream and remaining tablespoon of sugar until firm; about 2 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into 12 individual bowls or into a large serving bowl. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
The recipe makes about 10 to 12 small servings.
Recipe lightly adapted from Barefoot in Paris.