"The garnish? Caramelized baby teeth. Harvested in the night. So sustainable."
I thought we'd take a break from the breakfast portion of Full, my series of full meals and the cause of many questions, like "But I don't want to come over and eat a full breakfast at 6:30 pm, midweek," or "Why did you do this while you were over at my house?" and my favorite, "Are you just...like, having secret people over? Secret brunches?"
When you cook in secret, and I do for this site, people watch you closely. They want to know why you have extras, why you buy single saucers, tiny spoons and strange serving pieces at Goodwill, why they come over and see a composed plate of food on the edge of a table or counter, or perched a metal sheet pan that is balanced on top of a stereo, underneath a skylight. Why you take photos of the food you make, steal menus for inspiration, why you write down steps or quarter recipes or only serve up one or two servings. It isn't a secret anymore, I'm sure, I've stared down my sister as she dared me to deny having "A Food Thing" on the internet. I told her it was either that, or selling pieces of worn, intimate clothing on eBay. Embracing the digital age. I am a child of the future.
It is my secret indulgence, my gluttony, and I just wanted to send out a shout thanking whoever reads along. I'm always happy when something works, or people offer their own twerks and changes or disagree. So thank you. In return, I have something lovely and decadent for you.
This mousse is good. I made it to fill and frost a birthday cake for my mom's 50th, but I liked it better plopped into these small, delicate shatter-ready glass cups I found at Goodwill and topped with a big old dump of unsweetened whipped cream, so fresh and milky and sweet that I almost got all Sally J. Freedman as Herself about it. The caramelized puffed rice bits are from Tom Douglas' Dahlia Bakery and they are something I just thew on there - orange zest, shaved or grated chocolate, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder or chocolate covered espresso beans would all work just as well. Dirt. Coins. Time to get back on track. Tic Tacs. Sprigs of mint or a couple raspberries plopped on the side, how pretty. You know how to gussy things up. I know you do. I can tell just by looking at you. Fancy thing that you are.
Adapted from here
1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or chips)
¼ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chips)
¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups heavy cream, chilled
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
Melt the chocolates and ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon of heavy cream in a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water, double boiler or microwave until shiny and smooth. Let cool for ten minutes, then using a whisk, stir in the vanilla and egg yolks, whisking well to avoid curdling.
Chill a glass or metal bowl for at least ten minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a bowl and hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff and foamy. Set aside, and wash and dry the beaters well, before pouring the 1 ¼ cups of heavy cream into the chilled bowl and whipping until semi-stiff peaks form – the cream should still be billowy, but hold some shape.
Gently gently gently fold ¼ of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Add another scoop and quickly but gently fold to combine, ignoring any white streaks. Add the rest of the cream and fold just until combined. Now do the same with the egg whites (1/4 first, then the rest), making sure to really use broad, calm strokes – I did this until the color was uniform, but some people say not to worry if any white streaks remain. Grizzled, silver fox mousse is just fine.
Dollop into your chosen serving dishes, or leave in one big bowl, and chill until set (at least a couple hours). I serve mine straight from the fridge, garnished with stiffly-whipped unsweetened cream. It is lethal, and unapologetic. Just like Beiber.