Caroline Schiff's Chocolate Mousse for a Crowd

Caroline Schiff's Chocolate Mousse for a Crowd

Chocolate mousse has fallen a bit out of fashion over the past few decades, but I’m on a campaign to bring it back because it’s a perfect chocolate dessert. Simultaneously rich and light, easy to make ahead of time, and most importantly, all about quality chocolate, so what’s not to adore?

Making this Scharffen Berger 62% chocolate mousse in a large, festive format is a modern departure from the typical individual cups, and it makes such a statement. Super duper rich, topped with whipped cream, and shavings of 99% baking portions, it makes for a dreamy, luxurious grand finale. Give your guests bowls and spoons, and serve with various toppings on the side, like nuts and berries so everyone can create their own mousse adventure. 

  • 21 oz Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Baking Portions chocolate, broken up
  • 2 ¾ cups heavy cream divided, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 6 large yolks
  • 1.5 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (or brewed coffee to keep it booze free)
  • Flakey sea salt to garnish
  • Scharffen Berger 99% Cacao Baking Portions to garnish

Set a medium pot with about 3” of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer. 

Swirling mousse batter

While the water heats, combine the 62% chocolate and 3/4 cup of the heavy cream in a heat proof bowl. Set it over the simmering water to make a double boiler and stir occasionally to fully melt and combine.

While the chocolate melts, whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl, either by hand or using a mixer or beaters. Transfer to the fridge to keep cold.

As the chocolate continues to melt, combine the yolks, vanilla, salt, sugar, and coffee liqueur or brewed coffee in a large heat proof bowl and whisk well. As soon as the chocolate is fully melted, remove it from the double boiler, and replace it with the bowl containing the egg mixture. Whisk vigorously and constantly until the mixture turns pale, thickens and doubles in volume, about 8 minutes. This will also safely cook the yolks - just keep it moving so it doesn’t curdle.

Remove the yolk mixture from the heat and fold it into the melted chocolate with a spatula. Then add the whipped cream and fold through, adding it in two additions. Don’t overwork the mixture; you risk losing all the precious air bubbles that will give you a light as air mousse! Streaks of cream are fine, and in my opinion, very desirable! Gently transfer the mousse to a serving dish (about 3 quart capacity; glass or ceramic). Cover and chill for at least 6 hours before serving. You can make this mousse up to a day ahead of time. 

I like to allow the mousse to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving because it’s so rich. To garnish, top with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt, whipped cream if desired (or serve on the side), and some fine shavings of 99% baking squares. I like to use a microplane or fine grater and shave about ¼ of a square.

To serve, offer a variety of accompaniments, like ginger snaps, berries, fresh fruit, toasted nuts, amarena cherries in syrup, and anything else you fancy. Give your guests small bowls and spoons and let them dig in and create their own mousse adventure! 

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