A chocolate mousse is both simple to make and also very easy to get wrong. "I have tasted totally inedible chocolate mousse, even from great pastry chefs," confesses Nina Métayer.
The French pastry chef, who loves this chocolate dessert, has agreed to share her secrets to making the perfect chocolate mousse with us. If your mouth's already watering, read on.
The Right Chocolate Mousse Recipe
There are two main families of chocolate mousse, Métayer reminds us: the lighter and more chocolatey one made from whipped egg whites, and the richer one based on whipped cream. "I can't say that one is better than the other. It all depends on what you want to eat," says the young chef. But since she has to make a choice, Métayer has decided to reveal her secrets for making a cream-based chocolate mousse, which is her preference.
Chocolate Mousse Ingredients
For her recipe, she starts with a custard base with milk, cream and egg yolks ... But no sugar. "In my favourite recipe, I mix dark chocolate and milk chocolate, which already brings this sweet element. So no need to add more," she says.
Temperature control is the secret of a good chocolate mousse, explains the chef. The chocolate will melt in a bain marie while the milk and cream will be heated in another pan. “When mixing, something magical or catastrophic can happen,” warns Métayer. "If we do not master that, we will have a fatty result in the mouth, with lumps." At this stage of the recipe, the mixture should reach 82 ° C.
Later, when adding the whipped cream, the mixture should not exceed 35 ° C at the risk of melting the cream and losing the aerial effect. But if the mixture is too cold, on the contrary, we will obtain something very fixed and too compact.
A Beautiful Emulsion
Before adding the whipped cream, you will need to make a nice emulsion with a mixer, dipping between the melted chocolates, the milk, the cream and the egg yolks. "When this mixture is well done, you don't feel the fat," she says. "It's very important for this type of recipe."
Whip the cream ... but don't over do it
The last step in Métayer's chocolate mousse recipe is to add whipped cream, which shouldn't be too whipped. "It must be slightly runny, so that it falls easily from the whip. When you tap it a little, it must spread out, otherwise the fat will come out and line the mouth when tasting, which will prevent us from feeling all the flavours. It's the air that develops the aromas." The mousse is then left to set in the fridge for as long as desired to obtain a perfect melting texture.
The main thing is to have fun
Even if Métayer reveals the perfect chocolate mousse recipe, the most important thing is to "have fun" she emphasises. Thus, we can infuse the cream beforehand with tea, lemon zest or kaffir lime. "You can also replace the custard with mash or fruit juice. Raspberry juice, for example, will lighten the preparation for a great end of a meal." Finally, if you prefer the recipe based on egg whites, Nina Métayer has one last piece of advice for you: "Here again, the whites must not be too hot, otherwise the mousse will become grainy."
Nina Métayer's Perfect Chocolate Mousse Recipe
100 gr of dark chocolate 67%
80 gr of milk chocolate 35%
65 gr of milk
65 gr of cream
65 gr of egg yolks
337 gr of whipped cream
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
Boil the milk and the cream.
Pour over the egg yolks and cook at 82 ° C, stirring constantly.
Narda Lepes has been named Latin America’s Best Female Chef for 2020, and will be honoured at the virtual countdown of the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on 3 December.