This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe brought back sweet memories for me. When I was little, my mum used to make a dessert called “Chocolate Catastrophe”. It was a very rich frozen chocolate mousse and I think the catastrophe part was to do with what happens to your waist-line if you eat too much because it certainly was a winner taste-wise. The other “catastrophe” piece was the fact that our mousse never came out of the mould. As in: At. All. So my mum, sister and I sat around eating it out of the giant mould with spoons. Kind of like the way my sister devours chocolate coeur à la crème. This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie made me realise I totally need to hunt down that recipe. If I find it, I’ll post it. In the meantime, I offer you this.
When I read the recipe for Marquise au Chocolat (p 357 in Baking Chez Moi), I immediately thought of “Chocolate Catastrophe”. Except that the photo accompanying the recipe was elegant and refined. Nothing like the three spoons digging into a frozen mixture that won’t come out of the mould. But the ingredients and the description of the texture sounded a lot like my mum’s dessert.
The technique for this mousse has you whipping cream, melting butter and chocolate and blending egg yolks into the melted chocolate (much like Dorie’s Top Secret Chocolate Mousse) then mixing it all together, pouring in a loaf tin and freezing it for 6 hours. A few people over on the Problems and Questions on the Tuesdays with Dorie site questioned the “uncooked egg” factor – something I had not actually considered since I lick bowls and beaters all the time with uncooked egg on them (and Dorie’s mousse is my “go to” for the classes I teach!) but as I was serving this at a party, I thought I should perhaps investigate a way to “cook” the eggs before they were blended into the chocolate.
What I ended up doing (adapted from this recipe over on Serious Eats) was bringing a saucepan of water to a boil, lowering it to a low simmer and placing the glass bowl of egg yolks and sugar over the top, beating with an electric beater until it reached 160˚F. That took a LONG time. The mixture was lovely and silky by the time I was done (beware the edges of the mix will cook slightly so don’t scrape those into the mousse!).
As I was mixing the eggs into the slightly cooled chocolate, I realised I had forgotten the butter (!) so I put the whole lot – eggs, sugar and chocolate (which by now had hardened into a paste) over a bain marie with the butter and let it all melt together again. The mix was smooth and only slightly grainy but by the time I had it in the whipped cream, it was fine. A lovely silky smooth mix.
After 6 hours in the fridge it was fully frozen (I had enough for a 9×5″ loaf tin as well as three 6oz ramekins) though I had some trouble getting this out of the tin – next time I would place a strip of parchment underneath the plastic wrap lining the tin to make it easier to pull the mousse out. I was worried that it might melt if I dipped it in warm water too long. It was fairly easy to slice for this photo but later on I took it to a party (hence the cooking of the eggs – wasn’t sure who would be eating it!) and it was a little tricky to cut neat slices. Oh well, it tasted GREAT. SO happy I have two ramekins sitting in my fridge still! And yes, I’ll be making this again.
Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes on our blogs, so you’re encouraged to purchase Baking Chez Moi for yourself which you can do on Amazon or Amazon Canada or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us, baking our way through the book!
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