When you're cooking have you ever had that moment when you ask yourself 'am I doing this right'? You're not alone! So, we asked some of our favorite chefs to send us a recipe, then jump on a video conference and talk us through how to make it. Along the way, they're sharing some restaurant secrets to take your kitchen skills to the next level. For this edition of Chef to the Rescue, we're making a simple, scrumptious sweet treat, chocolate mousse with Heather Hodge and Emily Kim from The Pastry Project.
"The Pastry Project provides free baking and pastry training for individuals in our area with barriers to employment and opportunities in the pastry industry," explained Kim. "We also provide job placement assistance for them at our hiring partners, which are local bakeries and desert shops all around Seattle."
The duo, who are in the process of opening up a community kitchen space in Pioneer Square, met and still work at Molly Moon's. Hodge is the head chef, so she's the perfect person to teach the art of making chocolate mousse.
Heather's Secrets to Perfect Chocolate Mousse:
- Make sure your cream is cold before you whip it. The cream will whip fast and hold air better.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar and salt immediately after combining. The sugar can start to coagulate the eggs in a way you don't want.
- When the egg mixture is on the water bath, don't stop whisking, otherwise you could end up with scrambled eggs.
- Finish the mousse with a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt. It helps bring out the flavor and sweetness of the dish.
Recipe by: Heather Hodge
(Makes 4 generous servings)
- 70% dark chocolate, chopped - 4.5 oz or one cup
- Heavy whipping cream - 7 fl oz or one cup minus 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
- Eggs - 2 each
- Sugar - 1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons
- salt - pinch
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add chocolate to a bowl and set on pot with boiling water to create a water bath. Reduce heat and allow chocolate to just melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Whip heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract until very soft peaks form. The whipped cream should still be soft enough that it wiggles back and forth when you jiggle the bowl. Place in fridge.
- Combine eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and over the same boiling pot of water, bring the mixture to 160 degrees F, whisking constantly to avoid coagulation. Remove from water bath and whip on high until the mixture reaches ribbon stage - about 10 minutes.
- Gently fold chocolate into egg mixture.
- Fold in 13 of the whipped cream to the egg and chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining 23 of the whipped cream.
- Portion into a dish and refrigerate.
Finishing & Storage:
If desired, sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt before serving. Store in refrigerator. Can be made up to three days ahead with delicious results.