I stink at making chocolate mousse.Â And, I mean, you can probably tell that from the picture.Â Mousse is supposed to be light, and incredibly soft and airy.Â Mine is a lump of the thickest, densest, sweetest, in-your-face chocolate you could find.
What you can’t tell from the picture is that this is the third time I’ve screwed up chocolate mousse.Â In cooking class, my two partners and I dumped a small bowl of white, granulated powder into several separated egg yolks, and proceeded to whisk and whisk them in a double boiler, without any results.Â The sugar wasÂ supposed to mix with the egg yolks to turn themÂ pale and ribbony, ours did not.
Our instructer, unafraid of raw egg yolks, stick his finger in for a taste, put the yellow substance in his mouth, and proceeded to retch and run to the garbage can to spit it out.
“What did we do wrong?”
“That wasn’t sugar — that was salt!“Â Yes, we had dumped half a cup of salt into about four egg yolks, and apparently the result was something less than delicious.
Undeterred, we started over.Â This time, however, we didn’t wait for the egg yolks to cool properly before adding them to the beaten egg whites that the recipe called for.Â Despite delicate folding (that was totally unnecessary), we ended up with chocolate pudding.
I will say, though, that chocolate pudding is quite a bit closer to mousse than my creation here.Â If you’re looking for chocolate thick enough that you could stand up a spoon in it, I’ve created something you will like.Â But, if that’s not quite your thing, I humbly suggest another excellent use for this recipe…
Chocolate Fudge Frosting.
I was going to say “chocolate buttercream frosting,” but there is actually very little butter in this recipe.Â I was also going to say “chocolate ganache,” but it’s not pour-able enough to be a ganache.Â I was going to say “plain old chocolate frosting,” but all the recipes I looked at used a lot more sugar and a lot less chocolate.Â This is not a tablespoon-of-cocoa-powder-stirred-into-a-vanilla-frosting recipe.Â This is a knock-your-socks-off-chock-full-of-chocolate concoction that is far, far, far too sweet and too chocolatey to eat out of the bowl by itself.Â Let it chill and thicken a little, then stick it in a piping bag, and you will be happily decorating cakes with the best of them.Â Or, use it to fill the center of a cake when it’s just prepared and incredibly spreadable.Â
It’s such a good frosting that I hesitate to call it aÂ mistake.Â Someday, I will master chocolate mousse.Â But for now, this is a darn good frosting.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into pieces
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup light cream
1. On a double boiler, heat chocolate, vanilla and butter until melted, stirring to make sure there aren’t any lumps. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until lightened in color. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat for about 3 minutes, until fully incorporated.
3. Add the cream in a steady stream, continuing to beat until fully mixed through. Spread on a prepared cake or allow to cool and pipe to decorate a prepared cake.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of frosting.