I took French classes for about 8 years. Of those 8 years, 5 of them were spent with some of the most incredible people I have ever known. By senior year in high school, there was a group of 12 of us still standing strong. How we made it through, sometimes I will never understand. We made it through the "tais-toi" of our middle school teacher. Yes, that means "shut up." She was a kind soul. We made it through a piercing overseas (though I believe that girl didn't take French senior year). We made it through le futur, le subjunctif, l'imperatif, etc., etc. etc. We made it through marshmallow fluff & peanut butter sandwiches. We made it through my short-lived stint as the President of the French Club. We made it through crepes, crepes and more crepes.
But I really don't feel like we had a strong enough love affair with mousse au chocolat (or chocolate mousse). This dessert could not be any easier or more delicious. If you use dark chocolate, you are going to get the most chocolatey bite of creamy goodness you will ever taste. And you could probably just keep eating it. It would get you through. I have put in italics below my notes so that you, too, can master a beautiful mousse au chocolat - a true showstopper. Read the whole recipe through and then take no time to begin whipping egg whites. This is great as a plated dessert with some pomegranate seeds sprinkled over top and it would also be really cute served in shot glasses with tea spoons for a fancy party (New Year's anyone?!) However you eat it, savor each bite because it won't last long.
Mousse au Chocolat
Adapted from Cooking from Above: Baking by Marianne Magnier-Moreno
4 oz. dark chocolate (60% cacao or higher), chopped
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
3 eggs (2 yolks, 3 whites) (It's a good idea to separate these ahead of time, yolks in a small bowl and whites in a larger bowl to be whipped)
scant 1/8 cup sugar
1. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat. (Please watch this. Burnt chocolate is sad.)
2. Add the butter and let it incorporate using a whisk. Remove from the heat.
3. One at a time, add the egg yolks, beating with your whisk between each addition. (This is important.. if you aren't ready with your whisk, you could have scrambled chocolatey buttery eggs.) Let cool to room temperature.
4. Whip the egg whites with a hand mixer (you can whisk if you've got the arm strength), until they hold soft peaks. (Soft peaks is when your mixer is stopped and you pull it out of the eggs and they stand tall and then sort of fall to the side. Hard peaks would be if they stood up tall and stayed put). Add the sugar about midway through whipping.
5. Fold in a small amount of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then add the remaining egg whites and fold until they are just incorporated. (The folding is important. You don't want to deflate your egg whites.)
6. Refrigerate your mixture for at least 2 hours and up to a couple of days. You can portion before or after refrigerating.