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Manuel’s Chocolate Mousse

On one of many trips abroad, my husband Manuel and I took a five-week tour of beautiful Switzerland.  We began and ended the trip in Lucerne.  One fine restaurant “The Old Swiss House” was always one of our favorites. The food was excellent; the atmosphere quaint and friendly. We had enjoyed a superb meal there, and my husband, who was a real “chocoholic”  ordered chocolate mousse for dessert. 

Where, in the U.S., many restaurants serve mousse chilled in glasses, this restaurant served it on cart burdened in a large earthenware pot, brimming with chocolate mousse. Alongside, another pot was overflowing with  whipped cream.

My husband looked at me, and with a gleam in his eyes, asked, “Es todo para mi?”  (Is this all for me?)  If that had been the case, I truly believe he would have eaten a good portion of it, and then asked for a doggie bag as well! The waiter then reached beneath the serving cart, and lifted out beautiful china dessert dishes.  He ladled each with mousse and then plunked huge dollops of whipped cream, which he then sprinkled with toasted macadamia nuts. Manuel asked for more. I wasn't surprised!


INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 pounds Dutch semi-sweet chocolate baking squares, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar minus 2 tablespoons for meringue
  • 1 ounce Kahlua liqueur
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup light whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1
In the top pot of a double boiler pan, place chocolate, butter, cream and salt. Melt over simmering water, stirring occasionally. In a saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch and sugar. With hand beater, beat until cornstarch disappears. Cook at low heat until mixture thickens. Stir in liqueur and mix well.

STEP 2
Combine milk mixture and melted chocolate mixture. Mix well to incorporate all ingredients. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks well. Add a little of the hot mixture to eggs, stirring vigorously to avoid curdling. Return eggs to custard. Stir with wooden spoon constantly for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

STEP 3
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle sugar over meringue and continue beating until peaks are firmer. Fold meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture, in a down and over motion (no beating!) until meringue disappears.

STEP 4
Pour this rich chocolate cream into a bowl with cover; chill several hours or overnight. Stir once or twice with a rubber spatula. Just before serving, ladle mousse into dessert dishes. Beat whipping cream with a little granulated sugar until firm peaks form (do not over beat, or you will have butter). Whip the cream just before serving. If the dollops of cream are placed over the mousse ahead of time, the whipped cream tends to break down, and it will spoil the effect of this elegant dessert. Place a dollop of whipped cream over each serving and sprinkle with nuts. It sounds delicioso, right? It is!

STEP 5
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Keywords: DESSERTS, CHOCOLATE, MOUSSE
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