Chocolate Caramel Mousse - Date Night

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I was trying my best to pretend Christophe was not around the house....avoiding his mischievous glance on my way to the kitchen, grazing my hand on the shiny cover and yet preventing myself from leafing through the pages filled with gorgeous photographs and fun recipes. One night though, I found myself alone in the house and tempted by the promises of silky chocolate mousse, I gave in. I have always been pretty forward with my beaus (ask B. and he will tell you that the first thing I told you was "You're sexy" instead of "You're sweet" when we met - he'd tell the truth), and when there is chocolate, well I guess you don't need a visual...except Christophe was not going to get the best of me this time and leave me wondering again if he was the man for me. After making his Chocolate-Caramel Mousse, I think we might go steady for a while.

I was really intrigued by Christophe's mousse, particularly the ingredients and since there was just the two of us in the kitchen that evening, it was all quiet and calm and I thought we would get along better....no distraction meant that we could dance to the sound of bubbling caramel and not have a care in the world for a short while. The mousse I usually make is rich and yet nothing extravagant: melt chocolate, add butter, add egg yolks, whip egg whites with sugar, add whipped cream, fold and eat. But this is Christophe and we are on a date...His mousse is lighter due to his use of 2% milk, less egg, milk chocolate to add a touch of sweetness and very little butter. It is almost liquid when you pour it into a cup, dish or other but sets up to a beautiful silky cloud of paradise. I see some of you ready to come tell me about the danger of eating raw eggs. Stop right there. I will continue to eat the way and foods I was raised upon, including vats of egg filled mousse if I can (if it works for 97 year-old Grandpa Rene, I'll take my chance) I respect your opinion, really I do, but do you really know what tomorrow holds? Yeah...neither do I....except maybe "more mousse!" :)

The caramel part of the recipe? Well, that was Christophe little secret move...You have to earn your right to the mousse as you wait to let it set but oh my! that little bit of creamy caramel layer is just a great contrast in texture and flavor to the bittersweet chocolate layer. B, jealous of my little evening with Christophe, made the (bad) joke that we had invited Pierre Herme as the chaperon. Indeed, I layered the mousse and caramel cream on the diagonal, like I did with my adaptation of his Sensation Satine. I made enough caramel cream for only two servings but mousse for four people so I used empty and washed egg shells to pour it into and topped all with some crushed toffee. I ended up polishing both little jars which left B. with the eggs without caramel...sorry, bad pastry jokes are against the company's policies(!).

Chocolate-Caramel Mousse: Serves 4

For the Caramel Cream Layer:

40 gr sugar
100 ml water
150 ml heavy cream at room temperature
1 tsp powdered gelatin
1 Tb water
pinch of salt

In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar and water to 180C (358F) or to a dark amber caramel if you do not have a thermometer, over medium high heat. Be careful, if it turns too dark it will be bitter. Lower the heat and add the cream and stir until fully incorporated. Do not worry if it hisses at you and starts bubbling like crazy, it calms down after a few seconds. Remove from the heat. Pour the gelatin over the tablespoon of water and let it bloom for a couple of minutes. Stir it into the caramel and stir to dissolve. Pour into your selected dishes in the manner described here if you wish, or just let it be your bottom layer. Let set for 2 hours.

For the Dark Chocolate Mousse Layer:

1/2 cup (125ml) 2% milk
100 gr bittersweet chocolate (chips or chopped)
25 gr milk chocolate (same)
1 egg yolk
15 gr butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Bring the milk to a boil in heavy saucepan. Add the chocolate, let stand a couple of minutes. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated. The mixture should be at 45C (128F) when you add the egg yolk, if it is colder it might seize. Whisk in the butter. Add the whipped cream and fold delicately. Pour into your dishes and tilt them in the manner described here if you wish, or just let it be your top layer. Let set for 2 hours.
Top with crushed toffee if desired before serving.

70 comments:

Manggy said...

PERFECT! It even has a lid so you can mail one to me as soon as possible! :p

Peabody said...

Oh I love the presentation...that is great.

Babeth said...

Stunning satine lookalike dessert :-)

fofil said...

tout simplement magnifique!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

One word comes to mind: wonderful!

Cheers,

Rosa

Aran said...

Date night with Christophe sounds like a plan... espcially if there is chocolate and caramel involved. Helen, you are making me have bad thoughts!!! LOL... These little jars are as cute as your boy-chef!

AppetiteforChina said...

These look amazing. I love the egg shell idea.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Glad to hear you had a good time.

The mousse sounds delicious, and the presentation (the egg shell photo and the jars) is excellent! Very nice work!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Is there any way to egg you on to inviting me on a date like this. Let's see I could maybe be the driver, you two in the back seat making out with the egg cups. I could get mine at the end of the drive.
(blush) (shameless)
Beautiful Tartelette!

Meeta said...

I am enjoying so many different desserts here in Dubai - but I have give you this - with this mousse you beat the best of best!! hugs!

Bridget said...

Love your date night description! And...the mousse looks delicious!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Adorable and beautiful all at the same time!

Veron said...

Ha..ha...I get my late night romps with Stephane Glacier and his humongous book of macarons. This mousse looks so velvety delicious.

Stella (Sweet Temptations) said...

Aww these look so cute! I want one! as a belated Easter egg!

Ginny said...

I with manggy...it seems perfect for mailing! haha! Looks delicious! I love the presentation in the eggs! Please continue to update us on your continuing relationship with Christophe.

Brilynn said...

Gorgeous as always!

April said...

It looks wonderful! I always love your presentations.

Candace said...

Beautiful!

Candace said...

Beautiful!

Eileen said...

Fantastic photos!! Are those spoons French?

Eileen@ www.livingtastefully.com

Melanie said...

Your creations always look fantastic! The dark chocolate mousse layer is what will be keeping me dreaming about this for days!

Mercotte said...

J'adore ta photo des oeufs c'est top !! Tu as changé de bannière, je m'en aperçois seulement maintenant c'est aussi très très bien !! j'admire!

Kim said...

Leftovers? I will gladly help out since I live in the same City. Will bring my own spoon.
You are also a talented photographer!!!

bbaking said...

Yummy!

I also love the new banner!

Patsyk said...

What a fantastic date night! I am so envious of that mousse! What an indulgence, and it's so beautiful to boot!

Allie said...

Looks beautiful! Is there any way to avoid using the gelatin in the caramel cream? I'm vegetarian, and gelatin, unfortunately, is not.

Aimée said...

Really stunning banner, Helen!It suits your blog to a T.

Ben said...

This looks sinfully delicious! I'd love to be your neighbor :D

Tartelette said...

Eileen: the colored spoons are French but I can't tell you where from since my mom found those at an antique shop one day. The "wood" are actually disposable bamboo spoons that I found at Pier1

Allie: you can replace the gelatin with agar-agar which is vegetarian. As far as the equivalence, I am sorry to say that I don't know but I am sure you can Google it.

Chris said...

I really should not have taken a break in between tasks here at work. This presentation is simply irresistible. And the date? Hmmmm.....as I sit with my head in my hands, starry eyed. :)

Okay - back to reality...

White On Rice Couple said...

Wowzers!! Those eggs look marvelous and need to be in a magazine!! I don't know if I could have the patience to create those lovely eggs.

Liska said...

These mousse looks fabulous.
I like your blog and stories very much. Beautiful pictures :)

Vanillaorchid said...

They are absolutely fabulous!! I also love the way you made the layer .. such a perfect!!

I am going to try to make swirly macarons again and this time I will tell myself to do not overfolded.

Om

Madam Chow said...

Beautiful photos! And I like this recipe and will have to give it a try. I usually avoid mousse because it's too rich for me and too sweet.

Deborah said...

Wow - this sounds absolutely amazing.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

My mouth was agape at the recipe for a moment. 2% milk? That's a radical departure.

I got over that shock and kept staring at those pretty little jars for a while. Just gorgeous. I'm such a presentation klutz when it comes to dessert. I love baking and making desserts, but my desserts are never pretty.

Mansi Desai said...

OMG! you keep enticing us every day with those delicous pics! I think you've found "your guy"!!:) hehehe:D

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

YUM

Sha said...

Bravo !!! Je suis charmée par ces photos si bien pensées !
Dommage pour moi que tu n'habites pas l'Ecosse^^ Rien que pour goûter à un seul de tes desserts !

Tempered Woman said...

But it looks too pretty to eat! well. almost. This looks amazing and delicious. I'm incredibly jealous right now.

Evelin said...

The jars really add to it! I would like to just PUNCH A SPOON IN as quickly as I can!:)

My Sweet & Saucy said...

You come up with the greatest ideas for dessert and presentation. I believe that flavor and presentation is what it's all about and you blow me away everytime with your beautiful creations! Thank you!

the pastry princess said...

gorgeous helen! i think i'm falling in love too!

Joy the Baker said...

Darling presentation, as always! Sounds like some date!

Lis said...

Sounds heavenly!!! :D

xoxo

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

What more can I say, but ditto to all the other comments. Well done. Great love story!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love it how beautifully you always present your desserts, Helen. Unusually stunning!

LyB said...

So many of my favorite things all rolled into one! Date night sounds like fun! :)

Cheryl said...

I was first wowed over with how you presented it in the first picture, then when you put it in the egg shells, I practically hit the floor. You are so creative it is frightening. And it looks delicious too.

michelle said...

marvelous presentation! i did a double-take when i saw the egg shells cups. great job!

michelle
thelittledish.com

michelle @ tns said...

again with the egg shell cups - am i the only person who can't make them?

love the new masthead!

michelle @ tns said...

again with the egg shell cups - am i the only person who can't make them?

love the new masthead!

michelle @ TNS said...

you know, if you really want to get on my good side before i get all famous and shit, you could have one of these sent to me.

michelle said...

whoa, sorry - accidental double post, and comment meant for another blog!

Katie said...

This looks delicious and the presentation really puts it over the top. Bravo.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Beautiful! The diagonal layering is just lovely.

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

Oh my god these sound like heaven, if Cristophe is coming to Ireland give him my number!!!

Lori said...

So I would like to know when you are going to write a book complete with your stunning desserts and fabulous photography. Who needs Christophe, save for a little fun, when you have such a bounty of creativity and finesse!

Joy said...

I love the use of the egg-shells. Beautiful.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Wow! Thoses eggs are so beautiful! As always your pix are just great!

creampuff said...

Oh! Oh! It's both too beautiful and too cruel because I cannot eat them myself.

Zen Chef said...

Superbe la mousse mais... qu'est ce qu'il a de plus que moi Michalak? :-)

Il faut a tout prix que je me procure son bouquin que je puisse apprendre les secrets qui seduisent toute les nanas!

Hannah said...

Oh, if only I had a boyfriend like that...!

Very creative presentation, and the photographs are lovely as always. :)

SwellCakes said...

Your presentation is flawless-well, the whole thing is PERFECTION!

cakebrain said...

Gorgeous photos of delicious looking mousse!

Jenny said...

Wow, I may have to throw caution to the wind and try that! And being the thoughful and caring mother that I am, save my children from the dangers of raw egg and eat it all on them. What a sacrifice that would be. :-)

Fin said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE that you were cheeky enough to serve in the egg shells.
I've been reading you for some time, marvelling at your mad skills and BEAUTIFUL presentations, but this time I just HAD to tell you how enamored I am of your work.

oodles -
Fin (a fellow daring baker)

Jaime said...

yum! tasty, and beautifully plated :)

adsiz said...

thnks

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