It wasn’t until my friend Betty Beccari made her Cream-Less Chocolate Mousse that I realized just how muted regular chocolate mousse is.
I’ve been friends with Betty and her husband Serge since Maggy was a toddler and Sharon was in diapers. At the time we lived in New Haven, CT, and I was part of a cultural exchange program with our French sister city Avignon, France.
As part of the exchange we all stayed with host families. I’m not an especially lucky person, but this trip I scored. I got to stay with Serge and Betty, and we bonded instantly. They became my French parents; I was their American daughter with Maggy and Sharon the grandchildren they never had.
In the twenty-five years I’ve known them, we’ve become our own little cultural exchange. Before heading to fireworks one Bastille night, I served up a classic southern fried chicken dinner. Together we’ve walked the Freedom Trail, been to the Liberty Bell. They’ve served us horse tartare (which we thought was beef). They told Maggy and Sharon that rabbit was “special French chicken.”
We always cook when we’re together. On one of their most recent visits Betty made a brilliant dessert–Cream-less Chocolate Mousse. Rather than fold the rich whipped cream into the mousse, dulling the chocolate flavor, she served it alongside in ice cream form. In one mouthful you get a potent chocolate hit with a swirl of cold churned cream–truly separate, but equal. You also save a step not having to whip heavy cream. Once the mousse is made, pull out the ice cream carton and scoop. Genius.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 3 tablespoons dark rum or raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
- Pinch salt
- 1 pint premium vanilla or other flavored ice cream
- Melt chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove bowl from heat; whisk in yolks, one at a time, until chocolate is stiff but smooth; whisk in rum or liqueur and set aside.
- Meanwhile, beat egg whites and salt in a medium bowl until foamy. Continue to beat, gradually adding remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Stir ½ cup of the whipped egg white into the chocolate to loosen it. Fold in remaining egg whites until chocolate and egg whites are well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, scoop ⅓ cup each mousse and ice cream into a goblet. Serve.