Being the cheap Desi (slang for somebody from Southeast Asia. We are notoriously thrifty.) that I am, I like to troll the clearance shelves in any store I go to. Many years back I had picked up “Classic Cakes and Other Great Cuisinart Desserts” from a local bookstore. What a find! Every recipe in this book comes out perfectly and is pretty easy to make with the help of a food processor. And so, when it comes time to make dessert, I often turn to this tome. It hasn’t failed me yet.
Chocolate mousse has been a favorite dessert of mine but it looked complicated and intimidating to attempt at home. However, this recipe book came to my rescue and I found a great recipe here that I have made a few times with great success. I have added a little twist to it by putting a sprinkling of red chili powder to the mousse at the end. It gives it a nice bite. I figured that if chocolate + chili pepper worked for the Aztecs, it should work for the rest of us. Enjoy.
INGREDIENTS (makes about 8 small Ramekin style cups)
6 oz unsweetened chocolate – chopped up small
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
6 large eggs – separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water (or use a shot of espresso)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Red chili powder or paprika to sprinkle
1. Add the sugar and chocolate in the food processor. Chop the chocolate fine.
2. With the food processor running, slowly add the hot water until chololate melts.
3. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar separately till the foam starts forms stiff peaks. NOTE: This is ideal. However, if the foam appears to be well beaten but not forming stiff peaks, the mousse usually still turns out OK.
4. Add the egg yolks, coffee and vanilla to the chocolate mix and pulse until blended.
5. Add the egg whites and pulse a few times to mix everything. Don’t go crazy and overdo this.
6. Pour in individual Ramekins.
7. Sprinkle chili powder (optional).
8. Chill for about 4 hours until firm and serve.
NOTE: This is a very rich dessert. You may want to share with someone.