Back to basics! Sometimes I feel that I go a little bit too creative in the kitchen. So, I decided to go back to basics and start to go through classic recipes. Just to learn more techniques and get some inspiration. What are the best classic cookbooks? Well, when you started looking for classic cookbooks, then it´s impossible to skip Julia Child. Almost all the articles about classics mention Julia Child cookbooks. Also, my dear friend recommended this book to me. I think this classic book is something that everyone who loves French cuisine and cooking should have. There´s almost all the basics about French cuisine. Firstly, I decided to start with volume one: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. It was first published in 1961 and it has been republished several times. It obviously shows how valuable this book is.
The book for me is a good explanation and dictionary about French cuisine. Many of the dishes I have heard a lot about. However, this book just explains almost all the essential techniques how to make all of those fabulous dishes. The book contains all the essential knowledge about French cuisine definitions, cooking with WINE, soups, SAUCES, eggs, fish, poultry, meat, vegetables, DESSERTS and cakes.
The first recipe I´m gone give you is inspired by this book. I promise you that I´m gone make some savoury dishes too. But firstly, I went straight to desserts. I decided to use the same technique which you can find in the book for the chocolate mousse recipe (mousseline au chocolat or fondant au chocolat). Compare to other mousse recipes this one doesn´t have ANY cream!? At first, when I read the recipe I was quite amazed. So, I decided to give it a try. It really worked! I replaced the sugar with honey and butter with coconut butter (without taste) and the results were amazing. Maybe French will be a little bit angry when they will hear that I replaced usual butter but it worked for me. At least for this recipe. The most important part is the technique for making that kind of mousse!
Chocolate Mousse (mousseline au chocolat)
About 6 serves
- 4 eggs
- 60-70 g honey + 1 tsp for egg whites (depends on how sweet your chocolate is)
- 170 g dark chocolate (you can look for organic and sugar-free one)
- 3 tbsp strong coffee (espresso)
- 60 g coconut butter (without coconut taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or cognac
- Decoration: chocolate or berries
- Beat egg yolks with honey until pale yellow and quite firm. Add vanilla extract. Place the egg yolk mixture over hot water (not-quite-simmering water) and continue beating for 3-4 minutes (the mixture should be quite hot). Then beat over cold water for 3-4 minutes.*
- Melt the chocolate with coffee in a water bath. Remove from the heat and add coconut butter (a little at a time). Continue beating until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture.
- Beat the egg whites and salt until it´s foamy. Add 1 tsp of honey and beat until soft peaks are formed.
- Stir ¼ of the egg whites into the egg yolks and chocolate mixture. Fold the rest of the egg whites into the mixture.
- Put the mixture to the serving glasses and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Decorate with chocolate or berries and serve.
* This is the technique from the book: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. That kind of egg yolk beating will give the perfect airy mousse texture! It might be a little bit annoying to do all the beating but it´s totally worth it! A little exercise to eat all that mousse.