Sunday, April 14, 2013

Julia Child's Perfect Chocolate Mousse + Joy of Giving



My joy comes from making people smile with my cooking.  Perhaps that is why I have a weakness for throwing a great dinner party or bringing a batch of homemade cookies to the office or giving a jar of my handmade jam as a hostess gift.  Perhaps it is my way of giving and to quote Julia Child – “Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all”.

I hosted a dinner party last weekend and shared my menu with my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad post.  The final touch to this wonderful dinner party was chocolate mousse.  What I neglected to mention was it was the perfect mousse.  Perhaps it was perfect since the recipe was adapted from the master of French cooking – Julia Child.  Thus I had to name this mousse – “Julia Child’s Perfect Chocolate Mousse”.  It was essentially quite simple to make.  Believe it or not, it was the first time making mousse.  I added the Bourbon along with the espresso whipped cream topping and the result was simply heaven. Going forward this will be a “go to” dessert to impress my guests and now it can be yours too. 

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)



Speaking of giving, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to pay it forward.  I took the day off from work on Friday.  Although I had a day off, I worked.  Continue reading to understand what I mean. Saturday would be the third annual “Our Team Chloe” event.  It is a fundraiser that supports the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


Chloe is the daughter of my co-worker Joe.  She lost her battle with brain cancer three years ago at the tender age of seven.  It was simply heartbreaking for her family and friends.  Out of this tragic event came something good.  The positive outcome was that Joe and his large family banded together to give back and created Our Team Chloe. They were grateful for what the Make-a-Wish Foundation did for their family and wanted to pay it forward.  With the assistance of many, they put on an outstanding dinner and auction to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Last year I created and donated three handmade cakes for the live auction and raised $1,100 dollars for this amazing charity that grants wishes for very ill children.  Chloe loved being a princess.  With her admiration for anything princess, I created a special princess cake last year.  From that day forward, I made a promise to Joe that I would make a princess cake each year for the auction plus two additional cakes. 

I mentioned that I took the day off on Friday to work. My work was making three special cakes for this year’s auction.  It certainly did not feel like work, since I knew it would assist ill children realize one of their dreams.  My goal was to help raise more money than last year, which I believe we did and that brings me much joy.


Princess Chloe Cake:  Handmade Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Cream Filling and Buttercream Frosting 


 Handmade Dark Chocolate Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting topped with Fudge Brownies and Chocolate Drizzle


Chloe's Castle Cake:  Handmade White Cake with Raspberry Filling and Buttercream Frosting

Julia Child’s Perfect Chocolate Mousse

Serves 4 to 6

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces butter, softened to room temperature and cut into pieces
4 Tablespoons fresh brewed espresso
4 egg yolks
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Bourbon
1 Tablespoon water
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar

In a double boiler, heat chocolate, butter and espresso until melted. (Double boiler tip:  use a sauce pan and top with a glass bowl and add water to sauce pan about 2 inches)  Remove bowl from the top of the pan and set aside.  Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice and set aside.

Using the same simmering water, place a bowl large enough to fit securely on the bottom pan of the simmering water.  Whisk the egg yolks with ¾ cup sugar, bourbon, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water until slightly thick.  (about 3 to 4 minutes)

Remove the whipped egg mixture from the heat and place in the ice bath and beat until cool and thick.  Proceed to fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with salt until frothy.  Continue to beat until they begin to form soft peaks and add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to whip until thick and shiny but not stiff.  Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Transfer to a large serving bowl or 4 to 6 individual containers.  (depending how large you desire each serving to be).  Cover with plastic and chill for 4 to 6 hours.  Prior to serving add a dollop of espresso whip cream and shave semi sweet chocolate on top. (Tip: use a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate bar)

Adapted from: Julia Child – Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Espresso Whip Cream

2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add to a stand mixer and whisk until firm.  Keep in a covered container until ready to serve.


18 comments:

  1. What a delicious mousse, and that espresso whip cream sounds divine!

    Your cakes are so pretty, what a wonderful way to remember Chloe's life and bring joy to the lives of other children. A beautiful post!

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  2. You know, I have never worked out of any of Julia Child's cookbooks, I definitely want to though. This looks fantastic!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  3. Oh my! This looks delightful, I think you forgot to say it was "a perfect chocolate mousse for a mouse! :) Yum! I always know when I see a post from you that it will be good - this is no exception, it looks phenomenal!

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  4. What a beautiful post, and beautiful person you are Lisa! The cakes are so lovely! I hope you wound up making more as you wanted for such a worthy cause. Your chocolate mousse is perfection!

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  5. Such gorgeous cakes! What a lovely gesture - and fitting way to honor Chloe's memory.

    Your mousse - wow! It looks fantastic! I made the same recipe last Christmas, but since it was for my sister and her guests, I only had a spoonful. But boy, what a spoonful it was! Definitely the best mousse recipe. Ever. (Beautiful presentation.)

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  6. I think the princess cake turned out wonderful!

    Just added Julia Child's cookbook to my wishlist! :-) I think the mousse looks incredible! Yum!

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  7. Lisa, your cakes are works of art but best of all, your generous spirit makes them even more beautiful to those who benefit from your hard work.

    Love the mousse, too. Haven't tried Julia Child's recipe but now I will. :)

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  8. Did you make all those cakes, Lisa? You are awesome! Wow, it would have taken me 3 weeks to make all those cakes! I'm sure those fetched more than last year's!

    As for the chocolate mousse...well, hello, Monday! Happy to start the week with something sweet like this. Chocolate mousse is a childhood fave. Lots of great memories eating this.

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  9. Love chocolate mousse! What a nice tribute for your friends daughter's memory to raise money for the mark a wish foundation. You were one busy lady and your cakes turned out beautiful!

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  10. Hi Lisa!

    Your cakes are so inspiring - that Chloe cake?? I want it! I'm totally regressing but that's okay :)

    Hope you can check out my blog & tell me what you think! http://chowdownbythebay.blogspot.com/

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  11. Everything looks stunning Lisa! The mousse sounds divine and the cakes are perfectly decorated. What a great cause.

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  12. What fabulous cakes for a fabulous cause, Lisa. You are one talented baker! LOVE this luscious mousse...makes me smile this morning :)

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  13. The mousse looks too good along with your presentation of whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

    Very kind of you to do such a good deed for a coworker. Even blood relations or relatives these days do not care so much. God bless you.

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  14. Absolutely perfect, what else we can expect from Julia Child?

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  15. Your cakes are beautiful...I can see why they would bring so much at the auction for such a worthy cause. I like the idea of adding the bourbon to the mousse...it sounds delicious.

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  16. What a nice tribute that is. Good for you for getting involved! Your cakes are beautiful, by the way.

    And the mousse looks great, too! Like some of other commenters, I've never tried a Julia Childs recipe. Crazy, I guess.

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  17. Your mousse looks absolutely incredible! Seriously, I wish I had one of those. And anything Julia Child has to be amazing!

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  18. Lisa, you made a lot of people smile :) Gorgeous cakes - you are so talented and generous! My daughter's name is Chloe - love.

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It simply makes me smile when I receive a new comment and I look forward to hearing from you!