This year my Mother asked for chocolate mousse instead of cake for her birthday. I have made chocolate mouse a couple of times before from Saint Julia's recipe but I wanted something a little lighter. I also wanted to perfect the chocolate tart crust I have been working on. Tonight it turned out exactly right and everyone raved about it.
Chocolate Tart Crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
Lightly beat the eggs and set aside. MIx the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and work the mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture is the consistency of course meal. Add the eggs and mix/stir until the dough just comes together. Depending upon where you live, temperature, and humidity, you may need to add a couple sprinkles of water for this to happen.
Shape the dough into a ball and lightly flour the work surface. Lay a 1/8-inch wooden dowel at the left and right edges of the work surface. Roll out the dough. When your rolling pin is riding on the dowels you know that your dough is 1/8-inch thick. Place the dough into a 10-inch deep dish quiche pan. Gently work it down into the corners so the dough is resting against the entire inner surface of the pan. Trim the dough even with the top of the pan.
Place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up. and preheat the oven to 350F. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork. Lay a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the shell over the dough and put a pie shell weight (one of those things that looks like a series of beads) on top of the parchment paper.
Put the shell on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for NINE minutes. (I have made this several times, each time seting the time a little shorter until I got the finished shell with the consistency I wanted).
After nine minutes, remove from the oven and place it on a rack to cool.
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
3/4 cup baker's sugar
1/4 cup oragne liqueur
1/4 cup dark rum
6 ounces semi-sweet dark chololate chips
1 stick softened unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon regular granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Prepare a pan of almost-simmering water. Prepare a second large bowl of ice water. Mix the orange liqueur and bakers sugar. Lightly beat the egg yolks to combine them and then add the orange liqueur-sugar mixture. Beat until the mixture becomes very pale and thickens a bit. Then set the mixing bowl over the almost simmering water and continue to beat for 5-7 minutes until the mixture becomes hot. Then move the bowl to the ice water, continue beating until the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise.
Using the same pan of simmering water, set a small bowl or pan in it and pour in the rum and chocolate chips. Stir continuously. When the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and begin adding the butter one peice at a time, stirring continuously. If the mixture cools too much, re-immerse it in the simmering water as necessary.
Place the egg yolk mixture in your mixer's bowl, set the speed on medium-high and then add the chocolate. Let it beat the chocolate and egg yolk mixtures together for 1- 2 minutes.
Using either a different mixing bowl for your mixer (or removing the chocolate mixture and cleaning the bowl thoroughly) beat the egg whites, pinch of salt, and the cream of tartar to form stiff peaks.
Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then gently fold in the rest.
Pour the mousse into the tart shell and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Before serving, apply some whipped cream to the top and sprinkle chocolate shavings on the whipped cream.