Somebody was just asking about this recipe recently, so here it is. From the excellent Bittersweet; I’ve presented the version that is for standard bittersweet/semisweet chocolate (50 to 62 percent); if you’re using darker chocolate than that and want to know how to modify the recipe, buy the book! I did include some of the other variations; in particular, you can make this non-dairy if you wish.

We had chocolate mousse many times in Paris; in general, I liked their texture a bit better than mine (it was somewhat firmer), but mine tastes better. For which I can take no credit: I think I was just using slightly better quality chocolate than they were. (Scharffen Berger; I do hope their acquisition by Hershey doesn’t spoil them.)

I’m writing this for a double boiler, but you can just float a stainless steel bowl in a wide skillet of simmering water instead. Also, if you’re paranoid about egg yolks, you can heat the egg mixture in a double boiler (or substitute) until they reach 160 degrees. Do this before beating it, but whisk the mixture first.

Works well with whipped cream on top, but even better is the cocoa bean cream from the same cookbook. And if you don’t have ramekins around, just put it in some coffee mugs or something.

Chocolate Mousse, from Bittersweet, by Alice Medrich.

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water, coffee, or milk, or 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp brandy, rum, or liquor of choice (optional)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp sugar
Six to eight 4- to 6-ounce ramekins

Place chocolate and water/coffee/milk/cream in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is nearly melted. Remove from heat and stir until it’s completely melted. Stir in the liquor, if using, and set aside.

Combine the eggs, the 3 Tbsp of water, and the sugar in a bowl; beat with an electric mixer at high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the eggs have a texture like softly whipped cream. Fold a quarter of the eggs into the chocolate. Scrape the chocolate mixture back into the remaining egg mixture, and fold just until evenly combined.

Divide the mousse among the ramekins, and chill them for at least one hour, or until set, before serving.

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