seemed so fancy

Sorry, sorry, obviously I am kind of a failure at this blogging thing sometimes. It's just that life comes up - sometimes Blogger vexes me to no end, or I forget my card reader, or I have to get home, wash dishes, and then scurry to the market to gather a few ingredients for potpie. (Probably you'll read more about that next week.)

The first time I had chocolate mousse, I was about eight or nine, and on a cruise. This cruise also saw my first karaoke, which was with a couple other girls to "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)." I blame being nine.

I don't remember much else of the cruise - those two firsts, some nice beaches, and a stop in port where women desperately wanted to braid my hair. This was about the time I went to YMCA summer camp, and hair-wraps were super popular. I may have gotten that done, though my hair was long enough (and uncurled, even longer) that it may have been prohibitively expensive. I certainly got it done at summer camp.

Honestly, though, what I remember most is that chocolate mousse. I think it stood out because it seemed so fancy. It wasn't plain old ice cream, or frozen yogurt, or cake - it was kind of unlike any dessert I had experienced yet. It seemed like the sort of thing that ordinary people couldn't make.

I don't even really like chocolate desserts that much, if I can make that confession. But when I saw the recipe for chocolate mousse on the back of the Ghirardelli wrapper, I made sure to tuck it away. Maybe this was something an ordinary person (namely, me) could make. When I had bought heavy cream for the ice cream that never was, I realized I had to use it for something before it went bad.

So I did.

Chocolate Mousse
adapted from Ghirardelli

4 large egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 bars baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli's 100%), finely chopped

special equipment
hand or stand mixer

Whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl for about a minute, or until they come together thickly. Slowly add in the sugar, continuing to beat.

Heat up one cup of the cream in a saucepan - you're not going to boil it, just get it hot. This shouldn't take very long, but be careful. Temper the eggs by stirring about half of the cream into the mixture, then add back into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens (this should take about five minutes).

Let the mixture cool for ten minutes, then blend in the chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

About fifteen minutes before the two hours is up, throw a medium bowl in the fridge to chill. When that's chilled, use a mixer to beat on high the remainder of the cream (1 1/2 cups), producing - ta-da! - whipped cream. (Usually I am all for doing things by hand, because I hate pulling out the mixer and then cleaning it, but honestly, it is super hard to, uh, whip by hand. You can certainly try, but it will take approximately forever.) The cream should be thick but airy and using the mixer, it will only take a couple minutes on high to produce.

Gently mix about half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, until blended. Carefully fold in the rest of the cream until that too has been incorporated into the mixture.

This makes an awful lot of mousse, so be sure to invite some people over to foist it on!

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