Michel Roux Jr’s chocolate mousse
- May 2022
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 20 min, plus at least 4 hours setting
Learn how to make the perfect chocolate mousse, with this masterclass recipe from leading chef Michel Roux Jr.
Michel Roux Jr began his career with a patisserie apprenticeship in Paris. For nearly 30 years he’s been chef-patron of two-Michelin-star restaurant Le Gavroche, opened in 1967 by his late father Albert and uncle Michel Sr. He also oversees the food at London hotel The Langham and teaches at its cookery school, Sauce by The Langham. Michel Roux Jr’s classes are a chance to learn from the main man, while preparing a menu of his design.
- 26.7g (14.6g saturated)
- 30.3g (29.9g sugars)
- 250g dark chocolate (see Roux’s Rules), broken into pieces
- 70g unsalted butter, chopped
- 6 medium free-range eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 2-3 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
- Cocoa powder to decorate
- Contains raw egg
- Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Leave on the heat, stirring continuously, until the chocolate and butter are melted and glossy. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then whisk in the egg yolks.
- Meanwhile, put the egg whites in a large, clean bowl and whisk with an electric hand mixer to soft peaks. Add the 2-3 tbsp sugar (if using), and continue to whisk to stiff peak stage. Mix one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it (see Know How and Roux’s Rules in tips), then add the remaining egg whites and carefully fold them in using a figure-of-eight motion until just fully combined. It is important not to be too vigorous here or you’ll knock the air out of your mousse. Chill for at least 4 hours to set.
- When you’re ready to serve, dust the chocolate mousse with sifted cocoa powder and spoon a large quenelle (elegant oval spoonful) onto each plate (or see Roux’s Rules).
Does it matter what chocolate I use?
Use 68, 70 or 80 per cent cocoa solids – a really good quality dark chocolate is best. I wouldn’t use milk chocolate or anything too sweet because you wantthe mousse to be punchy. Valrhona is one of the easiest good quality chocolate brands to find, but there are many out there, so you can pick and choose the one you like.
Can I use eggs straight from the fridge?
Make sure they’re at room temperature, not cold, because otherwise the cold egg sets the chocolate.
Why can't I add all the eggs whites at once?
Put about a quarter to a third of the egg white into the chocolate mixture first. The reason we do that is to loosen the texture of the chocolate mix so it’s easier to fold in the rest of the egg white. Do that for any soufflés or mousses – it makes it easier to bring the two mixtures together. You can be quite vigorous with your initial blending. I use a whisk for the first addition and beat it all in, then gently fold in the remaining egg white with a large metal spoon or spatula.
How can I jazz it up?
When you’re mixing in the egg yolks, you can make it a little bit adult with a splash of rum, Grand Marnier or whisky. Or you can grate in some orange zest – make it your own.
How should I serve it?
You can go posh and do a wonderful quenelle with one big spoon, rather than faffing around with two spoons. Dip it in hot water, then draw the spoon on its side towards you through the mousse to make a lovely rocher. If you’re doing it for the family, though, presentation doesn’t really matter. You can also make individual mousses but it’s one of those desserts that’s great if you just bring it to the table in a big bowl
Prepare the mousse up to 2 days ahead. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve. Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for several days.
Don’t whip the whites until you’re ready to use them. Adding the 2-3 tbsp (optional) sugar to the egg whites helps stabilise the foam, making it less likely to deflate when folded into the chocolate mixture.
A large, flattish metal spoon is the best tool for folding in the whipped egg whites – it cuts through the mixture better and moves more of it without crushing the air bubbles. Wooden spoons can harbour grease that will deflate the bubbles.
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