Warning: Just looking at these photos will cause your hips to widen. They may also cause your mouth to water and your lower lip to tremble just slightly. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Mousse is the grown-up cousin to pudding; soft, silky and sexy. Air-whipped egg whites and cream are gently folded with melted chocolate to create this lighter-than-air confection. The lily is then gilded with espresso whipped cream - just add a half teaspoon of vanilla, one teaspoon of instant espresso powder and two tablespoons of superfine sugar to 3/4 cups whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Pipe onto your chilled mousse and garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans.
for April Pot Luck, I Heart Cooking Clubs
Mark Bittman, Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times
Makes 6 servings
Time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill
Once thought of as the most elegant of desserts, this ultra-rich chocolate pudding is still a real winner. It's blazing quick to make - I've prepared it after dinner and still served it before my guests left - which I do early. Once the chocolate is melted, the cooking is over; the mousse just sits until it sets up. You can spike chocolate mousse with rum, coffee, or other flavorings, but I like it simple - it's the intensity of chocolate that makes it special. Mark Bittman
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Use a double boiler or a small saucepan over low heat to melt the butter and chocolate together. Just before the chocolate finishes melting, remove it from the stove and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and beat in the egg yolks with a whisk. Refrigerate.
3. Beat the egg whites with half the sugar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.
4. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit,then fold in the remaining whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in the cream and refrigerate until chilled. If you are in a hurry, divide the mousse among six cups; it will chill much faster. Serve within a day or two of making