First of all, I have to thank my dear friend N (i’m not spelling his whole name, but he knows it’s him!) for providing this healthy recipe of one of the most decadent desserts I know.
Don’t take me wrong, I love butter! But olive oil in a mousse? Chocolate mousse?! That’s just plain nutrition genius.
Best topping for a chocolate mousse? Salt. Pink pepper is also very nice.
Besides giving you the recipe, I’m also going to share my cooking experience by adding more or less sugar and chocolate to the mix. Obviously the best recipe is the one with more sugar and chocolate! And I’m about to explain why.
If you look closely at the spoon, you can actually see me taking the picture!
The first attempt was the low cal recipe, where one tablespoon of sugar per egg is added, with 100 grams of dark unsweetened chocolate and two tablespoons of olive oil.
- 7 eggs (separated)
- 7 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 100 grams of dark unsweetened chocolate
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Procedure: Melt the chocolate with the olive oil and the salt (save some for sprinkling before serving), making sure it does not pass 50ºC. Beat the yolks with the sugar. Incorporate the melted chocolate (when luke warm). Beat the egg whites. Fold the yolk mix into the whites, gently. Spoon into ramekins and let set in the fridge at least one hour before serving.
Now, the low cal recipe was quite a challenge, as I noticed the egg whites didn’t set very well (no added sugar, and don’t expect cream of tartar will do the trick, it is great for an even whiter effect, but not so good at maintaining the whip). The lack of sugar also contributes to a faulty consistency, besides using half the chocolate, which led to lack of cohesiveness. By the next day, the mousse had egg white at the bottom, and just didn’t have the right fluff to it, especially because there was too much available water, ready to leak and ooze out of the protein web (the richer the web, with chocolate, sugar and fat, the easier it will solidify and prevent separation, in a cold envoirment).
The best version of this recipe, decadently delicious and healthy (just because it doesn’t have butter!), has double the chocolate (yum) and four more tablespoons of sugar.
So the best recipe is here:
- 7 eggs (separated)
- 11 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 grams of dark unsweetened chocolate
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
A trick my patisserie teacher taught me in my second year of college was to slightly warm up the egg whites, until it is warm to the touch, before beating. This supposedly helps keep the whites from separating while in the fridge for prolonged periods of time. As a fact I have researched this, it seems to be quite an antique procedure, for when electrical appliances were scarce, and beating was done manually. I do it anyway, as I can tell a difference, specially when making lemon merengue pie. Just remember to do this over a pan of hot water, and keep stirring and checking, so the mix doesn’t coagulate. It also helps build them and maintains them steady through cold environment without separating the water from the protein. By the time the egg whites are warm, you can start beating, and add two tablespoons of the sugar when they are nearly ready.
The procedure for this recipe is the same as the previous low cal version. Remember to eat within the following three days (raw eggs).
If your mousse sets like this on it’s side, then you made a good consistent recipe.
Reading Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking – The Science and Lore of the Kitchen will help you understand the science of making a mousse, even if you are a kitchen newby – this is where I got all the information for this post. It is also my food bible.
Another plus about adding the extra sugar and chocolate, is the fact that you don’t even notice the olive oil flavor (for whoever does not appreciate it). Sorry if you are diabetic, I cannot help you with this one (you can try adding frutose, I personally don’t appreciate it because of the metallic after flavor, or isomalt).
Something I have to warn you about this recipe is using raw eggs. If you are a food professional like I am, you know that in your establishment you should apply HACCP knowledge and pasteurization techniques, but it’s also a harder process to achieve good mousse like consistency. By applying the bombe technique, the eggs lose aeration properties, and so lingers the need to use gelatin leaves, which gives a hell of a lot more trouble, and will alter the flavor. Non the less, you should try it out, push your patisserie capacities to the limit, so you can understand why this and that happens!
Look how the mousse stays steady on the spoon – that’s the perfect, fluffy, gorgeous consistency a mousse should have.
Not pasteurizing eggs is a microbiological hazard, it is a petri dish of salmonellas, possibly a few campylobacter’s and plenty other egg loving bacteria. But hey, so many, and I mean soooo many people, including chefs and food eccentrics have risky eating habits, like raw oysters that are very dangerous because of the toxins that can act in seconds, leaving you near your death bed (PSP, DSP, NSP and ASP). Oh, the irony. But as Anthony Bourdain once said, “Your body is an amusement park. So enjoy the ride.”. This guy knows stuff.
Make the damn mousse with raw eggs, you will live.
If you are, however, prone to food disease or have a weak imune system, I advise you to purchase pasteurized eggs, or research how to do la bombe technique, where you pasteurize the eggs, with a 121ºC sugar syrup. For smaller quantities, you can use a microwave until the eggs, sugar and a bit of water reach 85ºC (the water is necessary, as it will evaporate, if it is not present, the eggs will scramble) and then beat till cool. Although this is the safest technique, and highly required in the restaurant business, it does lack substance and successful aerating. To counteract this, use gelatin leaves and whipped cream. But that’s a whole other recipe itself, far away from the purpose of this one, which is to opt for a dairy free ingredient.
I used a leftover jam jar and a white ribbon, for presentation purposes. But I also choose many different jars, with different sizes, because everyone wants a certain amount.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to eat it while photographing for this post.
About the olive oil to use, and the best that Portugal can offer, I’m saving that for a future post. I think I might have overwhelmed you a bit with too much technical/scientific patisserie information. So – Keep Calm and make that mousse! 🙂