The Drunken Mousse
There are some traditions that are mandatory. That everyone in the world follows. Or at least those believing similarly. For Jews, many traditions revolve around food. Matzah ball soup for holidays. Binge eating (and then no eating and then binge eating again) on Yom Kippur. Bagels and smoked fish for funerals. But some traditions are just for the family.
I have no idea why my oma always made chocolate mousse for the High Holidays. I only knew how much I loved it. The rich chocolate. The boozy aftertaste. The dollop of whip cream I just watched her whisk into airy submission prior to eating.
I haven’t had this treat for five years now. I’ve eaten other mousses, but they weren’t as dense. They weren’t as intensely flavored. And while I’m still waiting for my uncle to send me her recipe, I’ve figured out my own. And it tastes just like hers. And it fucking rocks.
Eat this the night before you starve all day during Yom Kippur. You’ll be satisfied til you can eat again.
Boozy Chocolate Mousse
While I had the memory of the mousse, I had absolutely no idea how to recreate it. I got some help from food writer Julia Watson (see her notes on chocolate selection below) and Epicurious (as always).
In a blender, start to grind up 10 ounces of Ghirardelli Gourmet 72% Cacao Extra Bittersweet Chocolate. The chocolate was in flat disks, not chips or in bar form. While you’re grinding this, heat up about 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream. Add to the cream 3 1/2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier.
Now, DADGANSIE told me we had espresso powder at the house so I didn’t buy any. We didn’t. So I subbed in General Foods International Coffees, Cappuccino Cafe Mocha powder, about 2 teaspoons, into the cream. When there started to be little bubbles around the sides, I added that into the blender.
Blend more, watching the hot cream melt the chocolate. Then add in 2 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs. Buzz it around until completely incorporated.
Stick your finger in to taste. The liquid chocolate should be strong with alcohol and rich with chocolate. And the liquid should be thicker than chocolate syrup. But less thick than fudge.
Stir around, if needed, with a spatula and then pour into a ceramic bowl. Chill for at least 4 hours.
My sister and mom like to eat it with either/both vanilla and coffee ice cream. I like to eat it plain or with whipped cream.
Chocolate Selection by Julia Watson:
You know, a lot of fuss is made about good chocolate. I reckon you can get away with Ghirardelli’s dark (from the Giant). But really good chocolate is made by Schaffenberger and Valhrona, both available at Whole Foods. If you want to know more, read Chocolate – dark secrets.