Recipe: a divine dark chocolate mousse

Adapted from Joel Robuchon

Joel Robuchon was one of the great chefs of the 20th century…and his genius lives on with the Atelier restaurants dotted around the world and in his many recipes.  He was a classical French chef, with a wonderful Paris restaurant, Jamin, that developed a 2 year waiting list at its peak (and before such things were heard of).  Then one day he decided he had had enough of Paris and the 3-star Michelin life and moved to Japan.  He adapted his cuisine and style to incorporate Japanese aesthetic and became an inspiration for many Japanese to go to Paris.

His influence was profound, and his food was sublime.  This chocolate mousse, a simple classic, as adapted from one of his recipe books.  It is very good.

  • 5 ozs bittersweet chocolate, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over the top of gently simmering water.  Do not cover.  

Add the butter, stir frequently, and remove from the heat before the chocolate has completely melted.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool.  

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla sugar until thick and lemon-coloured.  Whisk into the cooled chocolate mixture until thoroughly blended.  Whip the cream until stiff.  With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until thoroughly blended and set aside.  

In a bowl, combine the egg whites and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk until stiff but not dry.  Whisk one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mix and combine thoroughly.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whites, slowly and patiently, until no streaks of white remain, but without overmixing.  

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Serves six to eight.

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