Chocolate mousse, the art of

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Hi everyone,

Long, long time since I posted! Curious what tips I can get regarding to perfecting my chocolate mousse. The way I like to make it is with 60 grams of pure melted chocolate mixed with two egg yolks, 9 grams of sugar and 4 grams of cacao. I use two egg whites. Just before the folding in I mix 1/3 of the egg whites with the chocolate/egg yolk mixture....

Now my question is about being able to mix/fold the chocolate mixture with the egg whites. I know that over mixing the egg whites makes the egg whites too firm, which in turn makes it hard to mix(fold) with the chocolate; one can get a stringy result. I have been there. But what about the temperature of the chocolate mixture? I have been playing with that a little. Normally I melt the chocolate au bain marie (whithout the bowl touching the water). After that I let it cool just slightly before adding the egg yolks. But I also add one bottle cap of grappa, wich may cool the mixture down too much. I just don't know if the over-mixing of the egg whites or the temperature of the chocolate/egg yolk is my problem, when I get a stringy mousse... I should probably only experiment with one variable at the time (like leaving the grappa out the next few times, because it may cause the egg yolks to cool down too much). I just like the grappa too much in this recipe, hahaha..

I have had a few good tries, for sure. But I like to see if I can get some tips so I can get this down a bit quicker.... Hoping to nail this recipe every single time I make it some time soon :). I love this specfic recipe!

Any input very much appreciated!
Thanks
 

kuan

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You are essentially making a Chocolate Marquise "cake." A mousse would be with cream added somewhere in there. So, as far as my experience goes, you are creating a base of ganache, and then you are lightening it. But you have to break down what you are doing, which is good, but I cannot advise you much because I am not an expert, I just follow instructions.

But, there are a few ways of making ganache, the simplest being chocolate and cream to the most complicated with chocolate, sugar, cream, egg yolks, cocoa, butter and vanilla. Your ganache lies somewhere in between.

The cream can be incorporated into a chocolate mousse twice, once in the ganache and once as lightener. This is the saucier's chocolate mousse. Two ingredients: Ganache made from cream and chocolate, and whipped cream to lighten. Because we are too busy to deal with other things.

Your cream can be incorporated in the ganache stage to make a superior ganache with all the other ingredients, but also you will need more egg whites to make a mousse. I don't know the proportions.

So given that you have mastered the ganache part, I would see if other recipes for mousse include more egg whites or even a meringue.

LOL, few ingredients, different results based on how they are incorporated. Welcome to the art of pastry. And this isn't even scratching the surface.
 
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True indeed; it's very much about the way the ingredients are incorporated! Good remark. It's also important (I just learned) that you incorporate the chocolate quickly into the egg whites or else the chocolate seizes and solidify.

I think the recipe I use is much like the classical french chocolate mousse. With the exeception of adding cacao powder and grappa.... As far as I know mousse can be made all kinds of way's as long as it's airy.

The first part is much like ganache indeed.... glad to know I am already becomming good at that part at least, hehe. Much to learn still :)
 
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Yeah sure, I used the word "mixing", but should have said whipping.... If you are "over whipping" the egg whites you can break it apart and get a runny liquid and harder particles and lose the airyness... That can be one reason for problems with the incorporation/mixing with the chocolate mixture. Still finding that perfect spot
 
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Chocolate doesn’t like to mixed with water,and Grappa, which is 40% alcohol, is also 60% water. If you want to keep the Grappa, add in a little butter into the warm chocolate before.

The cocoa won’t alter the consistency, but it will make the mousse more gritty. If you want to boost the chocolate flavour, go with a higher cocoa content chocolate, or sub some of your chocolate with a higher cocoa content chocolate, or cocoa mass/cocoa liquor.

What temperature should your choc. be? If you ever put a bar of chocolate into your pocket as a kid, you know chocolate melts at body temp—around 30cel. Ideal temp for incorpororating chocolate is 40-45 cel.. Bain Marie’s work well but there is a caveat: If the water boils, steam will escape and condense above the chocolate, and as I’ve said before chocolate and water don’t play nice together, and it will seize.

Hope this helps
 
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Wow, this sure helps! Thanks for your elaborate answer... I will get there!

Strangely enough one of the times my mousse was perfect was when I used grappa but heated it with the chocolate because I thought it cooled my chocolate too much. I will never do it that way again btw because of what you said (It sounds like you know what you are saying :):)). The other negative was that the alcohol boils at a very low temperature so it was visibly boiling off... (I never let the water cook btw, so condens is not the problem). Next time I trie Grappa (leaving it out for now) I will definately try some butter! Nice one!

Anyway... I made mousse again today (failed) and experimented with letting the chocolate cool a bit more because it seemed to me before that the hot chocolate maybe cooked the egg yolks and made the chocolate/egg yolk mix very thick upon mixing and not shiny anymore. What I remember of the times that the mixing/folding went very well is that the chocolate/egg yolk mix was nice and shiney and still liquid enough to be able to mix/fold with the egg whites... But letting it cool more didn't make any difference today. It stil became a thick mess that didn't liked to be mixed with the perfectly firm egg whites :(

Could it be that the cacao (I add it to the cocolate/egg yolk mix) is making the chocolate mix too thick? I will probably just use chocolate with a higher cacao content the next time... and leave the cacao powder out! Still like to know.
 
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It sounds like your chocolate is seizing (Foodpump touched on this).

You could try mixing the grappa with the egg whites and folding that into the chocolate. Also be careful that steam or droplets from your bain marie aren't getting into the chocolate.

Maybe try a stabilizing agent in the egg whites...cream of tartar?

It's unusual that your recipe doesn't have whipped cream in it...
 
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Hahaha "godlike"...., best compliment one
can get :). Best tips so far as well!

Next time I will leave the egg yolks out, but it will not have the same richness and mouth feel probably. Just to see what happens. I am almost sure it solves the seizing of the chocolate for now..

I like the "pure" taste of the chocolate so much, I think whipped cream will probably make things a bit more forgiving though
 
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Next time try using room temp or even warm egg yolks. Again, chocolate doesn’t like water, Again, if you add warm chocolate to cold ingredients you will get humidity and resulting seizing or clumping.

A lot of recipies include making a sabayon of the yolks, sugar, and alcohol, folding the melted chocolate into this, and the folding whipped cream or egg whites into the sabayon.

Hope this helps
 
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I basically did that; today I tried slowly adding a few spoons of chocolate to the ribonned egg yolks first to make the temp of the egg yolks go up (I alway's use room temperature eggs and I ribonned the egg yolks with some sugar). It seized again. Yesterday some butter in the cocolate, it didn't work out for me eighter... I really appreciate the tips here and I WILL succeed in my almost OCD attempts at making a good chocolate mousse, lol... trying to keep myself bussy... Good therapy in these times :):). Love mousse sooo much... mmmmm. I will keep you guy's posted

Maybe I try another bowl for warming the chocolate...I am using a thin walled stainless steel bowl now. Maybe a glass bowl keeps things warmer.... I sometimes turn off the heat before the chocolate goes in the bowl. Sometimes I remove the bowl before all the chocolate is melted. Next time I am going to measure the temp!
 
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You should post the recipe and instructions you are using because a chocolate mousse, while having a few critical steps, isn't altogether a difficult thing for even an average cook, so I'm curious if something else might be going on.

What chocolate are you using?
 
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