Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Celebrating Julia Child & Chocolate Mousse

Perhaps the most famous culinary expert of the 20th century was Julia Child.   Often bored and lonely upon her arrival in France with her husband, Julia struggled to learn French and fit into her host culture.  Attending culinary school gave her the joy she had lacked and she quickly mastered French cuisine.  She authored a cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which has been a great tool for cooks in being able to bring French cuisine to the American table.

This year, August 15, Julia would have been 100 years old.  In celebration of her life, and the great culinary inspiration she provided, many bloggers are participating in JC100.  I was contacted and invited to participate, and I eagerly agreed!  Do you remember the movie Julie and Julia from a few years ago?  It is one of my favorites and truly inspired me in my culinary endeavors.  Attending culinary school is a dream of mine, so being able to 'watch' Julia's experience via this movie was a lot of fun.  I've always wanted to try her recipes, so now I get the opportunity! 

Each week we are given a new recipe of Julia's, and we are able to share the recipe with you!  This week's recipe is Chocolate Mousse, a favorite dessert in my husband's family, so it was only appropriate that my in-laws are in town this week and can sample this decadent delight.  

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

In, what I would think would have been Julia's fashion, I measured out all of my ingredients into prep bowls and placed them on the counter, in easy to reach places.

I even weighed the chocolate to ensure that I had exactly 6 ounces.  You can't always trust a labeled bag.

Julia may not forgive me for this, but I opted to leave out the orange liquer that is called for in the recipe.  I just couldn't seem to find any in my pantry {ha!}...and honestly, I don't like orange flavor in my chocolate.  This may have caused a bit of a different consistency as I cooked the first part {there was never any foam in mine}, but it ended up just fine.   Her description of the egg yolks and sugar mixture is that it will look like mayonnaise.  She was right.

Smooth melted chocolate, with a bit of coffee and lots of butter {always lots of butter in Julia's recipes} makes for yummy chocolate.

 Beating egg whites is apparently an art.  I'm not sure if I've mastered it, but this is what the 'stiff peaks' should look like.  If you use an electric mixer, the beaters should leave small peaks when you lift them up and off of the mixture.

I believe folding something into another portion of the recipe is best accomplished with the use of a spatula--it makes for gentle stirring.

Hopefully, these pictures and little tips will help you if you endeavor to try this recipe.  And, be sure to check out the other bloggers who are joining in this celebration by looking at the Facebook page.

Chocolate Mousse

A 3-quart porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup instant sugar {I used regular granulated sugar}
1/4 cup orange liquer
pan of not-quite simmering water
basin of cold water

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon.  Beat in the orange liquer.  Then set mixing bowl over the not-quite simmering water and continue beating for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger.  Then beat over cold water for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon.  It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.

6 ounces or squares of semisweet baking chocolate
4 Tablespoons strong coffee
A small saucepan
6 ounces, or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Optional: 1/4 cup finely diced, glazed orange peel

Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in butter, a bit at a time, to make a smooth cream.  Beat the chocolate into the yolks and sugar, then beat in the optional orange peel.  

4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Stir one fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Fold in the rest. 

Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.


  1. I'm officially jealous! =)

  2. Lauren. How fun! I'm excited to check each week to see the featured recipe. You have really taken off with this blog and it is so neat to see you shine in this way. :)

  3. The mousse was a delight! I'm so glad we were here to sample it. However, I like Bradley's recipe better--maybe because he doesn't put in the coffee and leaves tiny bits of chocolate in it. Maybe your readers would like to do a taste test.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. How neat, Lauren! Will be checking back to see the other recipes you've tried!


I would love to get your feedback on any post! Comments make my day, and I will do my best to get back with you as soon as I can. Thanks!