For the recipe of the week, I am going to give you two for one. There is nothing I like better than chocolate presented with simple elegance. Its even better when used to appease grumpy customers or family during the holiday season.
The first recipe is for Valrhona chocolate crepes, which can be filled with anything you like, or simple served alone with a little sugar for a cold winter morning. The second recipe is a wonderfully light, yet rich chocolate mousse. The technique for this dessert is very simple and straight forward, making it almost fool proof for the busy season ahead.
Valrhona Chocolate Crepes
All Purpose Flour ¾ cup
Powdered Sugar ¼ cup, sifted
Melted Butter 2 tablespoons
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
Brandy 1 tablespoon
Water 1/3 cup
Melted Butter 2 tablespoons
Beat eggs until well blended, and then add water, milk and brandy. Combine this mixture in with the dry ingredients, add melted butter, pass through strainer to remove lumps and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours and up to over night.
Heat small non stick skillet or crepe pan with enough clarified butter or light oil to coat, and heat until just smoking. Quickly pore enough batter to fill bottom of pan then pick up and rotate pan to cover bottom completely, taking care to pour excess batter out so as not to make crepes to thick.
Cook crepes until lightly browned on outer edges (about 30 seconds) then turn over with spatula and cook on other side for another 30 seconds or so. Stack plates on top of each other until ready to use.
Simple Chocolate Mousse
There are many different ways to make chocolate mousse, some are more complicated than this recipe and some are easier, but here I think Master Pastry Chef Pierre Herme’s recipe is perfect in the classic sense, and it is very versatile.
Bittersweet Chocolate 6 ounces, finely chopped
Whole milk 1/3 cup
Egg yolk 1 large
Egg Whites 4 each
Sugar 2 tablespoons
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over-not touching- simmering water or in the microwave oven. If necessary, transfer the chocolate to a bowl that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Keep the chocolate on the counter until needed. The chocolate should feel warm to the touch when you are ready to use it.
Bring the milk to a boil, and then pour it over the chocolate. Using a small whisk gently combine blend the two. Add the egg yolk and whisk into the chocolate, again working gently; stop when the yolk is incorporated.
In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Increase the speed to medium high and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat the whites until they are firm but still glossy. Scoop one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and then beat them into the chocolate to lighten them. Now, with either the whisk or a large spatula gently fold the rest of the whites into the chocolate until they are fully combined.
Turn the mousse into a large serving bowl.