This is a serious dessert mousse, friends. A chocolate experience so rich, velvety and decadent, a few tablespoons is really all that any one person needs. I usually chuckle when I watch Mrs. Pastry eat chocolate bars, because she nibbles them like a mouse, savoring every tiny morsel. However even I — a man known to wolf chocolate bars down by the handful — eat this only incrementally, off the tip of a spoon.
With a little pâte à bombe on hand, chocolate mousse is a ridiculously easy thing to make. You just want to make sure, as Camille pointed out, that your pâte à bombe is warm so it combines easily with your melted chocolate. The recipe goes like so:
4 ounces pâte à bombe
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Begin by whipping the cream just about to the soft peak stage (or less), you want it a little loose and runny. If you haven’t already, prepare your pâté à bombe, and while it’s whipping, melt your chocolate in the microwave. I use couverture chocolate for mousse, since the extra cocoa butter makes it even silkier than usual. Couverture, however, can be hard to find, so use whatever pricey Euro-style semi-sweet you can lay your hands on. Melt it by giving it several short bursts of high heat in the microwave…20 seconds for the first one, stir, then as many shots of 10 seconds as it takes to get it warm and melty, stirring between each burst. Stop before it’s completely melted, and stir it with a spoon until it’s smooth. Add the warm chocolate to the warm pâte à bombe (which can also be heated gently in a microwave if it’s pre-made, just be careful!):
Stir it until it’s uniform…
The mixture will firm up here and look a little rough. Ain’t no thang.
No matter, I just add in about a third of the whipped cream…
…and whisk it in until it’s all smooth:
I then do the same with the remaining cream…
…and that’s pretty much it! If you like a lighter mousse, add more whipped cream and/or whip the cream to a stiffer, more voluminous state. You’ll likely want to do that if you’re planning on using your mousse to fill a cake or pastry. If you’re just going to eat it, though, my advice is to leave it dense and intense.