4 Minute Dark Chocolate Mousse- To Victory and a PhD

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I am not an expert on desserts and I say this all the time but when I look at the desserts that have come out of my kitchen I think saying this is starting to sound cliched. But the fact is I do desserts because they look pretty and they bring a smile on the faces I serve them, I don’t  have them most of the time. But today my reason to do a dessert is completely different. There are very few occasions when I want to do a dessert for myself. And on such occasions I want them quick lest I change my mind and don’t do them. And today is a special day indeed ! I graduated from IIT Madras and am Dr Teena from today. Not that I would like to be referred by the Dr tag, but it feels good to accomplish something you thought was near to impossible. Life at IITM has been eventful and has moulded me in many ways. It has taught me to deal with dead ends, crisis, heights, people, to question, to challenge, to think out of the box and to appreciate life’s small wonders. Having experienced labour pangs and thesis pangs in the same time period I could tell you, I found labour pangs easier :) and thesis pangs unbearable. So today calls for a celebration for having unlearned and relearned basics for  7 long years, for having travelled the road less travelled.

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I promise not to misuse the knowledge and the credentials earned. I will not use it as a badge of honour and boast around. I will try being a better human being and  let me tell you a little secret- I don’t think you get a PhD for your work, the real PhD is for having endured the journey for having survived those countless nights of self doubt, confusion,angst, suicidal, self torturous episodes. It is a medallion for the courage  on showed by just smiling and walking away  when an undergrad mocked your existence and purpose in life and called you a loser. And that definitely calls for a toast or a shot. So here’s some dark chocolate shots to celebrate my victory.

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And that’s how I decided to do this 4 minute dark chocolate mousse authored by the ‘Angry chef’ – Gordon Ramsay. I love this guy and his temper tantrums though I wonder if its just a TRP stint. I guess I love mercurial people because they remind me of ‘ME’. This recipe is very easy but you need to follow it carefully because it involves a meringue making session. You could substitute the meringue with a meringue powder but I did the meringue for some practice.

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Ingredients for 4 Minute Dark Chocolate Mousse

Dark Chocolate – 100 g chopped into small pieces

Fresh cream -300 ml

Whipping cream- 100 ml

Caster Sugar- 50 g

Egg white- 1 tsp

Amaretto syrup or Brandy- 2 tbsp (optional)

Whipped cream- 4-6 tbsp for decorating

Chocolate shavings or vermicelli- to sprinkle on top of the whipped cream

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Directions

Heat  half the fresh cream and add the chopped chocolate pieces. Keep stirring using a spatula. Transfer the mixture once it cools a bit to another bowl with the remaining cream that is ready on a bowl with ice cold water. Keep stirring as soon as you pour the melted chocolate. Add the whipped cream ( leave some for the decoration) and brandy  and continue stirring with the spatula.

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Separate the egg yolk and egg whites. You need to do this part very carefully. Now whisk the egg whites with the caster sugar using a hand mixer to stiff peaks. It might sound difficult but technically in Master chef language once you are done doing a meringue, you can lift your bowl and invert over your head and not a drop will fall over you, that is a stiff peak. Or if you dip in your mixer blade and lift it there would be stiff peak that does not fall. Keep whisking till you achieve this.

If you over beat beyond this point, your mix will turn grainy. Also ensure you use a bowl that is non- greasy before you start whisking else the chances of egg whites splitting is high. To ensure this use a bowl that has been washed in warm water.

Once you get stiff peaks fold in the meringue into the chocolate mixture. You can now scoop or pipe the mousse into the shot glasses. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top and sprinkle some chocolate vermicelli. Refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled.

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The egg whites being raw worried me but I am now used to having them. If you worry about this the next best thing to do is substitute using meringue powder or whisk the egg whites on top of a warm water bath but you need to be quick here while whisking else you might end up cooking the egg whites. I have tried this method too and it has worked.

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And that’s a beautiful dessert with a tinge of brandy and the best part is it can be done in 4 minutes. So enjoy some dark chocolate mousse and happy weekend!

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