Sunday, August 26, 2018

Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse

I couldn’t resist trying this salted butter caramel chocolate mousse recipe when I was in Canada. I think I first saw it on the White on Rice Couple’s blog, though it appears to have disappeared from the site now. A Google search turned it up again on Epicurious, and it turns out that the recipe is originally by David Lebovitz, from his book My Paris Kitchen. I didn’t bother using “butter” in the title because I didn’t really see the difference between good caramel that is salted and contains butter versus salted butter caramel, at least as far as taste goes. Besides, the lactose-free butter on the market is salted anyway, so there you go. This mousse was absolutely delicious; my mother found is very sweet, but I thought it was more rich than sweet. The kids loved it, obviously. I’ll have to make this one again!

½ cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, cut into cubes
¾ cup lactose-free cream (coconut milk will do here)
6 oz. (170 g.) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs, separated
a rounded ¼ tsp. flaky sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of a wide saucepan (ideally not a dark one, as you’ll need to see the color of the caramel). Heat the sugar over medium heat. As it begins to liquefy at the edges, use a heatproof spatula to very gently drag the liquefied sugar toward the center. Watch carefully, as once the edges start to darken, the sugar is in danger of burning. Continue to cook, stirring very gently, until all the sugar is melted and begins to caramelize. (The original recipe suggest taking it to the edge of burnt, and even letting it burn just a bit, but that usually tastes too bitter to me, so I stopped when the whole thing was a light amber color.)

Remove the caramel from the heat and quickly whisk in the butter, stirring until melted. Gradually whisk in the cream and stir until the little bits of caramel are completely melted. (This can take a while; if all else fails, the mixture can be strained.)

When the caramel is smooth, add the chocolate, stirring gently until it’s melted and smooth. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Once it’s no longer warm, whisk in the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Fold one-third of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture, sprinkling in the flaky salt. Fold in the remaining beaten egg whites just until no streaks of white remain. Divide the mousse into serving glasses (I made 6 servings), or transfer it to a decorative serving bowl, and chill for at least 8 hours.

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