Lydster: Chocolate mousse

Seldom

chocolate mousseOn Election Day, my daughter was babysitting for much of the day. She texted me and said that she wanted to make chocolate mousse that evening for a contest the next day. It could help improve her French grade. Could I pick up some ingredients at the store before she got back?

What did she need? The recipe she found, which she wanted to double, required:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter – we have some, but maybe not enough
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, best quality – need
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated – have
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar – ?
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar – have
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold – need
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract – thought we had, but can’t find
FOR SERVING
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold – need
2 teaspoons sugar – have
Chocolate shavings – need

Potassium Bitartrate?

What the heck is cream of tartar? I discovered one can substitute one teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar for a 1/2 teaspoon of whatever it is. We had lemon juice. I wrote, “I didn’t want to buy the cream of tartar, which we would seldom use.”

She wrote back: “You sound like a nerd. ‘Seldom’ – c’mon, mate.” While I think it’s a fine word, her peers would say, “we won’t use it much.” I think that’s too wordy. She says that we nerds have “expectations of themselves that are too high.” Not the worst curse, especially for someone she says is cool, “for a boomer.”

Most of the work she did herself. She asked for help separating the eggs, yet her ultimate solution was far more efficient than my manual method. Emptying a water bottle, she squeezed it, creating a vacuum that sucked up the yolks.

The chocolate mousse turned out to be quite tasty, according to both of her parents. Because she had even MORE homework to do on a supposed day off from school, her father ended doing a lot of dishes the next day. He’s better at that task than cooking anyway.

late summer 2007
late summer 2007