Chocolate Mousse: Its Love at First Bite!
A Healthier Chocolate Mousse Recipe —
Nothing seems to say, “I love You”, like chocolate, right? With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, I thought I’d try my hand at creating a chocolate mousse that would taste indulgent, but not undo my New Years resolution to eat healthier. It’s only February and I don’t want to fall to temptation and blow progress just six weeks into the new year — stay strong. But life is all about balance and an occasional treat is part of that equation. Personally, chocolate is not my favorite flavor, but I can appreciate a good chocolate mousse along with all the other people who believe chocolate is a gift sent from heaven!
The main ingredients of any mousse recipe are chocolate, eggs, cream and sugar, not exactly items I would put on the healthy list. Along with Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month, encouraging us to love our own hearts enough to make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health. When you have a cardiac intensive care nurse in your family, you are reminded of that message. Her stories will scare you straight.
I remember a mousse recipe I made years ago that used tofu in place of cream. I know, it sounds weird, but It was a huge hit, and no one suspected it wasn’t the real deal. I am a recipe collector; my mother was too. She spent hours sorting through the bits and scraps she had clipped from newspapers and magazines, bundling them into neat little piles that she secured with rubber bands for safe keeping. I instead developed a preference for collecting cookbooks. I love them like old friends, and would have a hard time saying goodbye to any of them.
“It should be called, “Chocolate Fool”, because it tricks you into thinking this must be loaded with rich whipped cream. Instead, the secret ingredient is silken tofu.”
It took some time, but I found the recipe in “The Essentials of Healthy Cooking”, published by Williams Sonoma in 2003. I’ve done some tweaking to improve on an already good thing. I started by adding coffee; that intensifies the flavor profile of chocolate. I used Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate because a good quality chocolate yields a better result. I reduced the amount of chocolate, replacing it with cocoa to trim the fat without diminishing the rich taste. The original recipe uses raw egg whites for the meringue. I changed it by adding a hot sugar syrup drizzled into the egg whites, making the meringue more stable, fully voluminous, and satiny smooth. This is a similar technique to the one used to make Italian meringue, and that’s the base for “real” buttercream frosting.
The original recipe was good, but the tweaked version takes everything up a notch. The result is a decadent dessert that comes in at 181 calories per very substantial serving. If you break this into 6 smaller servings, the calories come down to120 or 6 Weight Watcher SmartPoints. No matter how you count it, its gonna be love at first bite — Happy Valentine’s Day!
weight watcher SMART POINTS
PREP TIME - Minutes
COOK TIME - Minutes
- 3 oz Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ cup Unsweetened cocoa
- ½ cup Water (divided)
- 1 tsp. Instant espresso (can use instant coffee)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ½ cup Silken tofu (room temperature)
- 4 Egg whites (room temperature)
- ½ tsp Cream of tarter
- Place chocolate, cocoa, ¼ cup water and the instant espresso granules in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Heat until chocolate melts stirring often. Remove from the stovetop and allow chocolate to cool at least 15 minutes. If the chocolate is too warm, or the tofu too cold the mousse will have a grainy texture.
- Place tofu in a blender or a food processor and purée until smooth , 1-2 minutes. Stir in the puréed tofu, and vanilla into the melted chocolate until well blended. Set aside.
- In a glass measuring cup - mix ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of sugar. MIcrowave on high for 8 minutes to create a hot syrup.
- While the simple syrup is cooking in the microwave, Place egg whites into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on medium until frothy and opaque - add cream of tarter. Increase speed to high until firm peaks form then slowly add the hot syrup and continue to beat until the meringue is fully voluminous, satiny, stiff, and cool.
- Using a spatula, gently fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour this lightened mixture into the remaining egg whites, then fold into the egg whites just until incorporated. Spoon the Mousse into 4 martini glasses divided evenly. Add chocolate shaving for garnish and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. Enjoy!
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