I really love Bailey’s Irish Cream. The first time I ever went into an English pub – it was the Silver Cross – I ordered a shot of Bailey’s and nothing else. It cost a hair-raising £5 (!), but that experience remains a fond memory of mine. How could I resist adding Bailey’s to this fabulous chocolate mousse recipe? In short, I couldn’t.
I’ve tried a lot of chocolate mousse recipes, running the gamut from Hershey’s classic chocolate mousse, which incorporates gelatin for thickening purposes, to Gordon Ramsay’s delectable mousse, which uses crème fraîche and double cream to achieve a thick texture. None can even compare to this mousse, which gets its silky, creamy, light-as-air body from whipped cream and beaten egg whites. If you’re not comfortable using raw egg whites, you can use pasteurised egg whites, but they will take a bit more work. Rose Levy Beranbaum has an egg-cellent (hee!) egg-splanation (haw!) about working with pasteurised egg whites here.
This chocolate mousse is transcendental. You could be bummed about being a permanent “guest” of Alcatraz, but as soon as a spoonful of this stuff passes your lips, you’re Tina Turner burning it up in concert with your killer legs. It beats the competition not only in texture, but in flavour, kicking up the already strong chocolate flavour with both Bailey’s and coffee. It’s like an Irish Coffee Mousse! You can omit either the coffee or the Bailey’s, or both, but I don’t think the mousse would be as good.
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Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse
Yield: 6 – 12 servings
6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 eggs, separated
2 – 3 TBS brewed espresso or strong coffee*
2 – 6 TBS Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur (use as much or as little Bailey’s as you’d like)*
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup heavy cream
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 TBS maple syrup (trust me on the maple syrup) OR 1/4 – 1/3 cup powdered sugar
4 oz. chocolate, chopped fine
Melt the 6 oz. chocolate on low heat on the stove. Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate until thoroughly combined.
Whisk in the coffee and the Bailey’s, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Take mixture off stove.
Whip the 1 1/4 cups cream until stiff peaks form. Whip the egg whites until foamy; add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream and egg whites alternately into the chocolate mixture until completely blended.
Scrape mousse into a decorative serving dish and refrigerate at least 3 hours to allow the mousse to set. Garnish with whipped cream (see below) and chopped chocolate.
For the garnish:
Combine cold cream, vanilla extract, and maple syrup or powdered sugar and beat until cream holds either soft or stiff peaks, depending on your preference. Top the set mousse with the whipped cream (you could spread or dollop the whipped cream, or, if the cream is stiffly whipped, pipe it into rosettes) and sprinkle chopped chocolate on top. Serve immediately.
*If you’d prefer a straight-up mocha mousse rather than a Bailey’s-spiked one, substitute the Bailey’s for an equal amount of brewed espresso or strong coffee.
Source: Adapted from Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen by Darren McGrady, 2007