An optional garnish of crushed almond-flavored cookies adds an extra touch to this classic French dessert. Serve in crystal glasses. The mousse needs at least 4 hours' chilling time; it can be made 12 hours in advance.
Servings: 6 to 8
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (may substitute milk or white chocolate)
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 to 4 tablespoons crushed amaretti cookies, for garnish (optional)
- Raspberries, for garnish (optional)
In a large stainless-steel bowl set over a saucepan of gently boiling water, melt the chocolate, stirring just until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until the whites form a satiny, soft-peaked meringue, about 1 full minute. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
To assemble, whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate to lighten it, then fold the rest of the cream into the lightened chocolate until well combined. Fold the meringue into the lightened chocolate mixture until well incorporated; be careful not to overmix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
To serve, spoon egg-shaped mounds of the mousse into 6 to 8 crystal glasses. Let the mousses come to room temperature for about 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Top with crushed amaretti cookies, if desired.
Adapted from chef Michel Richard.
Tested by Jane Touzalin and David Hagedorn.
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