If it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words, do I really need to say anything? You're already drooling right?!! But even if I say nothing I've got to give credit where credit is due, so let me just say that this amazing concoction comes straight from the pages of My Paris Kitchen, by none other than the renowned chef and dessert specialist David Lebovitz and my honoree for this weeks' Famous Fridays! TGID (Thank God It's David!)
This isn't my first post about David. I've already shared his recipes for Fresh Strawberry Sorbet, Banana Butterscotch-Pudding Pie, Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream, Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread, Maple Walnut Pear Cake, Over The Top Chocolate Cookies and Amazing Vegan Chocolate Sorbet. It's not even my first Famous Fridays about him--he was actually the subject of my second Famous Fridays ever with his wonderful version of Chocolate Pavé, (please excuse the photos--I'd only been taking them for a week at that time). Anyway, you can clearly see I love the guy and his cooking! He's been living in Paris for 10 years now and his latest cookbook, the aptly named, My Paris Kitchen, is filled with 10 years of hands-on French cuisine experience and the wonderful stories and sense of humor that accompany them. There are recipes for traditional French dishes like Cassoulet, French Onion Soup and Financiers as well as twists on some of those traditions like Lamb Shank Tagine, Buckwheat Madeleines and this brilliantly updated version of the classic French chocolate dessert.
And like all of the truly stellar recipes there are only a few ingredients involved and the entire thing comes together easily. The only tricky part is the making of the caramel and there's really only one rule--WATCH THE POT AND DON'T WALK AWAY!! Sorry to shout like that, but making caramel requires your undivided attention, so no texting, running to throw in a laundry, breaking up squabbling children--shut yourself away for about 10 minutes and you'll be rewarded with golden creamy caramel.
The rest of the recipe is just stirring in chocolate, egg yolks and flaky sea salt--
And then folding in beaten egg whites, until what you're left with is a glorious bowl of silky, rich finger-lickin' chocolate batter with a slight hint of salty caramel to it that you will seriously have to control yourself around or there won't be any left to refrigerate into mousse!
Creamy, utterly decadent, almost spongy and deeply, deeply chocolate but somehow not too rich because the little bit of salt cuts the sweetness (it's got that yin/yang thing going)--that's what every bite is filled with. Take that extra zumba class or hit that elliptical for an extra session because you must make this and it is a diet wrecker, but so absolutely worth it!
Or run to the store to pick up the ingredients for this (hey, that burns calories too) and treat yourself to an extra special French dessert from an extra-special dessert master this weekend. It truly is TGIF around here. Have a great weekend and I'll see you in May (can't believe that it's happening already!)
"My Paris Kitchen's" Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse-Famous Fridays
Makes 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour (but half of that is hands-off), plus at least 8 hours of chilling time
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 large eggs, separated
- Rounded 1/4 teaspoon of flaky sea salt (I used one from Trader Joe's)
1. Place the sugar in a medium-sized heavy-weight saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. As the sugar begins to melt at the edges, use a heatproof spoon or spatula, to gently drag the melted sugar towards the center. Let nothing take your attention away from the melting sugar!! It can go from light amber to burnt in a snap. As soon as the edges start to darken, stir the mixture very gently until all of the sugar is melted and is turning a caramel color.
2. Once the sugar is a deep amber color and is just smoking and sort of smells slightly, but only slightly burnt, remove the pan from the heat and add the cubed butter. Use a whisk to quickly incorporate the butter, stirring until it's all melted. Slowly whisk in the cream (the caramel will seize up) and continue to stir until all of the hardened caramel has melted. This can take a few minutes. If absolutely necessary re-heat the mixture over the tiniest light, stirring all the while until the bits are all melted.
3. Once the caramel is completely smooth, gently stir in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth again. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
4. Once the mixture is cooled, whisk in the egg yolks.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they're stiff. Gently fold about 1/3 of them into the chocolate mixture. sprinkling in the flaky sea salt at the same time. Then, fold in the remaining whites, only until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mousse into individual dessert dishes or into one large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours. Serve as is. There won't be any leftovers!!
Note: Recipe adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. This recipe is perfect--I didn't change a thing!