Chef Courtney Contos joins us with a Valentine's Day special treat that you can make today -- a dark chocolate mousse with a whipped cream meringue garnish.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat 3/4 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan. In a small bowl whisk eggs yolks and sugar. When cream is hot slowly temper cream into eggs by adding small amounts of hot cream into egg mixture, continue to whisk. Once half of hot cream is added you may quickly stir in the rest of the hot cream. Add cream, egg mixture, and Grand Marnier to saucepan and cook stirring constantly to 160 degrees. Strain and add the melted chocolate. Mix well and chill.
3. When chocolate and egg mixture is chilled, beat 1 1/4 cups heavy cream to stiff peaks in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the chilled chocolate and egg mixture. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Pipe into wide champagne glasses. Garnish as desired.
Chill 1/2 hour. May be made 1 day in advance.
For a nice touch garnish with bruleed Swiss merigne, recipe below.
Swiss Meringe Garnish
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
pinch of cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
Whisk egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar together in a large stainless-steel bowl. Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with about 1 inch of simmering water. Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl. Beat the whites on low speed until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet, or the egg whites will be overcooked. If you cannot hold the thermometer stem in the egg whites while continuing to beat, remove the bowl from the skillet just to read the thermometer, then return the bowl to the skillet. Beat on high speed just until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips). Remove from bowl and put into pipping bag fitted with medium tip. Pipe ontop of finished chocolate mousse. Carefully brulee with blow torch.