There are some things in life that can either be un-freakin-believable or hide your face in your hands shameful. You never really know the outcome, until you’ve jumped off that cliff. Snorkeling for the first time in my 40’s…Awesome. Learning how to ski six months later, not so much. (Just ask the little ones I mowed down on the bunny slope.) I began walking this line as I lounged on my sofa reading David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. And when I came across the Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse recipe, that crazy inner rebellious teen–you know the annoying voice in your head that tells you that you CAN wear skinny jeans–rudely interrupted my tranquil Saturday afternoon. Something about that perfect recipe made me want to alter it. What does a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse know about chocolate anyway? Having read a good deal of his blog and cookbooks, I can emphatically say that he KNOWS chocolate. But he’s also wildly zany as his adventures in Paris reveal, and in my heart, I knew he would forgive any crimes I made against his chocolate recipe. Salt with chocolate is a classic pairing, but soy sauce as the salty source? It could turn out mind-blowingly good, or it could result in a complete waste of excellent chocolate, which is definitely a crime punishable by death. (Unless pardoned by David Lebovitz.)
I have to place some of the blame on my friend Rosalie. A few posts ago, I made a bread pudding filled with sweet red bean paste. Darling Rosalie, who often tests my recipes in her kitchen, said to me, “You know Girl, I don’t do red bean paste.” She is the diehard chocolate fan I was referring to when I added a disclaimer to my bread pudding recipe. Ok, that glib remark stayed with me, festered, and then THIS happened.
All this to be in Rosalie’s good graces. Also, she is my emergency contact for my kids at school in case they can’t reach my hubby or me, so I REALLY need to be in her good graces.
Good, you’ve stayed to watch the show. Melted chocolate is a thing of beauty.
A sprinkling of pink peppercorns for the adult versions. I don’t think David would be disappointed. As for my recipe tester and fill-in mom, Rosalie, she will be getting some chocolate mousse tonight.
- (Adapted from David Lebovitz's Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse recipe)
- 1/2 c sugar
- 3 tbs unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 3/4 c heavy cream (warmed)
- 6-7 ounces of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate (ratio is your own preference)
- 4 large organic eggs (yolks and whites separated)
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- Pink peppercorns(optional)
- Warm heavy cream in a saucepan. Keep to the side on low heat.
- Spread the sugar evenly on the bottom of a heavy wide pan.
- Heat the sugar on medium, and as the sugar starts to melt, use a heatproof spatula to stir the sugar around. Keep stirring using large stroking motions until all the sugar melts. Wait until the sugar completely liquifies and turns amber.
- Take the pan off the heat and add warmed heavy cream. It will bubble violently. Use a whisk to mix in the cream into the melted sugar. If any lumps occur, return the pan to the stove and on low heat, stir the lumps until it's all melted.
- Take off the heat and stir in the butter.
- Allow the caramel to cool for a few minutes. While it's cooling, separate 4 eggs. Place whites in a large mixing bowl.
- Chop up chocolate into shreds.
- Add the chocolate into the cooled caramel. Stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Whisk in the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture. Stir in 1 tbs of soy sauce.
- Using a mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff.
- Fold in a 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.
- Pour the chocolate mousse into 6 espresso cups or small containers.
- Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before eating.
- Just before serving, sprinkle some crushed pink peppercorns on top. (optional)