6 servings

If left for a long cooling, let warm to room temp for 10 minutes.
Serve with chocolate shavings and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Can be held premade for about a day.

From Cook’s Illustrated, Jan/Feb ’06, modified/annotated

  • 8 onces bittersweet chocolate (or dark) chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably dutch processed
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I skip this)
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (I use kirsch)
  • 2 large eggs, seperated
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I use a pinch)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled heavy cream

Melt chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso, water, and brandy in a medium heat proof bowl (I use our smallest metal bowl) set over a saucepan filled with 1″ barely simmering water, stirring frequently until smooth.

Note, it when it seems smooth, it may still have some grains of unmelted chocolate.  Allow a little bit longer than you expect is needed to be on the safe side.  Remove from Heat.
Whisk egg yolks, 1.5 tsp sugar, and salt in a medium bowl (I use the medium metal bowl) until mixture lightens in color and thickens slightly, about 30 seconds.  Pour melted chocolate into egg mixture and mix until combine.  let cool until just above room temp, 3-5 min.
In stand mixer, beat egg whites at medium-lowuntil frothy, 1-2 mins. Add remaining 1.5tsp sugar and increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1min.  Whisk last few strokes by hand.  Using whisk, stir about a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Fold in in remaining egg whites with spatula until a few white streaks remain.

In mixer whip heavy cream at med. until it begins to thicken, ~30sec. Increase to high and whip until soft peaks form, ~15sec (took a lot longer for me). Using dspatula, fold whipped cream into mousse until no white streak remain. Spoon into individual serving dishs, then refrigerate till firm, at least 2 hours.