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Author Notes: The nutty flavour of brown butter comes through as a subtle and truly unique note in this light yellow mousse. The recipe combines a few fun techniques, but still comes together in less than 30 min. It’s also extremely easy to scale – 1 ounce chocolate, 1 egg and 1 tbsp. butter per. person. Chocolate mousse aficionados may recognize it as a ratio picked up from Elizabeth David. —Lise
Makes 4 portions
- 4 ounces best quality white chocolate
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons water
- a a few drops of lemon juice or a nip of cream of tartar (optional)
- Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave. Then let it cool slightly. In a small saucepan melt the butter and continue too cook until all the water has evaporated, the solids have turned dark brown, and the smell is deliciously nutty. Keep an eye on the butter, when its done keep it warm in the pan.
- Meanwhile, separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. With an electric mixer (or a balloon whisk if you prefer whisking by hand), mix the egg yolks and water. While whisking continuously, pour in the warm brown butter. At first only a few drops at a time. When half the butter has been added, you can pour in the rest in one thin steady stream. I leave the little specks of browed solids from the butter in the pan, but you can add them to the eggs if you wish (They are delicious). The eggs should turn into an airy mousse, like a thin mayonnaise.
- Mix the melted chocolate into the egg yolks. Start with one tablespoon at a time, then halfway through you can fold in the rest of the chocolate in on go.
- Carefully clean the beaters of the mixer, (or the balloon whisk). Make sure they are complexly clean and dry. Whisk the egg whites with a few drop of lemon juice or the cream of tartar if using, until they form stiff peaks.
- Mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then add the chocolate mix to the bowl with the whites and fold gently until fully combined.
- Spoon into individual serving containers, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. The mouse can be served with a bit of fruit compote or some fresh berries. It is particularly nice with a spoonful of ripe passion fruit on top.
- NOTE: This recipe combines five techniques - melting chocolate, browning butter, making an egg/fat emulsion, whisking egg whites, and folding them into the mousse. All are fairly common and easy, so I haven’t gone into detail, but if you are unfamiliar with them, you might want to look up a few tutorials (some excellent ones on food52).
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Brown Butter