"Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese and one for chocolate."
February 14, 1986. That's the anniversary of the first time I made this mousse. I've made it once a year ever since, either on Christmas Eve or Valentine's Day.
It's got a great light consistency that sets up after it is chilled for a couple hours and it will keep nicely for up to four days, making it a fine dessert for entertaining, since you could prepare it ahead of time. This perfectly chocolaty dessert is crave-inducing. Be careful.
One 12-ounce bag good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup prepared espresso coffee
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
(optional: one cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar to whip and use as garnish)
Melt chocolate chips in a medium bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring. Do not let the bowl touch the water; stir in espresso and Grand Marnier. Let chocolate cool just to room temperature.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream until slightly thickened, then add confectioner's sugar and beat until stiff. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into egg whites. Add one cup of this mixture to the room temperature chocolate and stir in thoroughly to loosen it. Pour this chocolate over the cream/egg white mixture in the large bowl. Gently fold in until it is evenly incorporated.
Spoon into 8 to 10 individual dessert cups or a serving bowl. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.
At serving time, if desired, whip one cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar until soft peaks form. Top each portion of mousse with a dollop of whipped cream.