Going Back (and Forwards) with Chocolate Mousse and Cardamom Seeds

Chocolate mousse, which is now terribly old fashion, is something I included in my new book What We Eat When We Eat Alone. It was a bachelor’s idea for the finish to a seductive meal and indeed, it’s a pretty seductive little dessert. Funny that we’ve cast it so cheap oakley thoroughly aside, but that happens. Adding crunchy, whole cardamom seeds brings it more up to date since we now find herbs and spices, barks and seeds in all kinds of desserts. This mousse has no tofu in it. It’s based on butter, chocolate and eggs, and a little cream doesn’t hurt, either. But try it with a 6o-70% chocolate, definitely include the cardamom, and serve small portions. You will love it. It’s utterly scrumptious and easy to make.

Chocolate Mousse with Cardamom Seeds
2 eggs, separated
1-tablespoon sugar
2 ounces chocolate, 60 to 70%
2 tablespoons strong coffee or water
¼-teaspoon cardamom seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Beat the whites until foamy, then add the sugar and beat until smooth and firm. Leave the whites in the bowl with the whisk or beater.

2. Put the chocolate, water, and cardamom in a 1-quart bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let it sit IN the water. When the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat. Whisk in the egg yolks, then add the butter and stir until it disappears. (If it’s taking a while to melt, return the bowl to the pan of hot water but without turning on the heat. You don’t want to risk cooking the yolks into scrambled eggs.)

3. Re-whisk the egg whites to bring them back together. Fold them into the chocolate, then divide everything among 4 to 6 dessert dishes and refrigerate. Serve with cream poured over the top.

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