Bob likes nothing better than dessert unless, of course, the dessert is chocolate. So I found a wonderful treat for his Valentine's Day: homemade Dark Chocolate Mousse.
Don't let the name fool you. There's not anything bitter about this rich, creamy concoction from The 50 Best Dessert Recipes (an addictive ebook from Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, December 2011). The guest-worthy dish tastes like your favorite Chocolate Pie without the crust. Yum! It's a cinch to fix, especially if you have one of those handy KitchenAid stand mixers for beating the egg whites. And you can make your efforts look oh, so elegant!
Want to impress your honey? Just scoop this chocoholics delight into some fancy wine glasses and top or layer it with whipping cream (we like Cool Whip Lite), chopped pecans and fresh raspberries.
You can make this grand finale a day or a few hours before serving time (it needs about an hour to cool and chill). That's when it's your turn for a treat. You can stay pretty during preparation by wearing a cute, little red-and-white cocktail apron ($25 from HenHouseLinens.com). Perfect for Valentine's Day, this one-size-fits-all number hits just above the knee, has a helpful pocket and, even better, boasts a wide, black ribbon that adds some serious style by wrapping around and tying in front. Ooh la la!
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, sugar and water. Place over boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Remove the double boiler from the heat but leave the top in place. Beat in the yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the top pan and let cool. When cool, stir in the vanilla.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cooled chocolate mixture. Pour into custard cups and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
* We tested this recipe with water and vanilla.
You can use granulated sugar, sifting it to make sure it's superfine. If you're like me and don't own a double boiler, just use two similar-sized pans. Put the smaller one on top, double-boiler fashion, and hold it in place if needed.
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