Watching a chef work with molecular gastronomy is a bit like watching a mad scientist at work. You see unheard of ingredients and never before seen techniques come together to create food that has textures and flavours, beyond anything you can imagine. It challenges and defies all conventional ideas and norms that one has come to accept when it comes to food. While there is a scientific rationale behind it all, to the lay person it is a bit like magic!
It is not only about creating new textures and new flavours, it is also about achieving a conventional result with an unconventional technique. So, while I believe molecular gastronomy is best left to the professionals, I couldn't resist giving this chocolate mousse recipe a shot. This recipe was invented by a French physical chemist, Herve This, also known as the 'Father of Molecular Gastronomy'. It turns on its head everything you know about making chocolate mousse as well as about working with chocolate and yet, results in the creamiest, silkiest and chocolatiest chocolate mousse you've ever had!!
The first rule when you work with chocolate is that it should never come in contact with water. This recipe breaks that rule irreverently by having only two ingredients, water and chocolate. The two are melted together and the resultant mixture is transferred to an ice bath. It is then whisked and as air is introduced into this mixture, it emulsifies like a mayonnaise and achieves the desired mousse like consistency. And you are done!!
It seems strange but that is all that there is to it! No cream, no yolks, no butter, no sugar.. just chocolate and water!! And yet, like I said, this mousse is creamy, satiny and luscious. You won't believe it, until you try it for yourself!! In fact, Monsieur This is said to have remarked, "I invented it — but it was so easy, I'm embarrassed!"
Just keep two things in mind. Use the best chocolate that you can lay yours hands on because that's what you will taste. There is nothing behind which the chocolate can hide itself. And secondly, be very precise with your measurements. If you want to introduce a liqueur, subtract the same amount of water as the amount of liqueur you are going to use and then introduce the liqueur.
This is a very intense, chocolate dessert and a small amount goes a long way! And since I didn't have the requisite serving ramekins, I dug into my shot glass collection. An unconventional dessert deservedly demands an unconventional showcase!!
As the original mad scientist, Einstein once said, "make things as simple as possible, not simpler"! This chocolate mousse is testament to the spirit of that statement.
Source : Food 52
- 100 gms dark chocolate
- 1/3 cup water
- Fill a bowl with ice cubes and then fit a metal bowl onto it. Add some water to the ice to make sure the bottom of the top bowl is submerged in it. Leave to chill in the freezer.
- Place the chocolate along with the water in a saucepan. Warm over low-medium heat until the chocolate has dissolved and you have a smooth liquid.
- Remove the ice bath from the freezer and transfer the melted chocolate to the top bowl. Start whisking immediately. Whisking creates large air bubbles in the sauce, which steadily thickens. Continue to whisk until it thickens and has a smooth and creamy consistency. This could take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
- Instead of a hand whisk, you can use an electric mixer. But then you might over beat it and the mixture could turn grainy. In that case, place the mixture back in a saucepan and heat it again and till it melts. Transfer it back to the ice bath and whisk till desired consistency.
- I used the electrical mixer but kept checking on the mixture every 30 seconds in the first two minutes and then every 15 seconds until it was done!
- Once the desired consistency is achieved, divide the mixture equally between the serving dishes. You do not need to chill it before serving. Serve immediately or refrigerate till served.