Italian-Style Chocolate Mousse / Spuma di Cioccolata
When you think of great Italian desserts, I’ll bet you don’t think of chocolate mousse. But the Italians like their spuma di cioccolata as much as the next guy. The word spuma in Italian means mousse. But it also means frothy. This Italian dessert is sort of frothy as y0u spoon it into serving dishes but after a few hours in the fridge, you have yourself a proper mousse that is irresistible. The optional splash of booze–in this case Grand Marnier–doesn’t hurt either.
Most of this dish can be made in your food processor. First, fit a cold metal blade into your processor. Whip a cup of heavy whipping cream for about 30-35 seconds. As the cream is whipping, drop a tablespoon of powdered sugar down the feed tube. The whipped cream will look like the picture down below. I could have even stopped whipping a few seconds earlier. Next time. But…there’s nothing like your own freshly whipped cream. With a spatula, take it out of the processing bowl and park it in its own bowl and refrigerate. Do not clean the processing bowl. No need to.
Now, you need to melt your chocolate. If you don’t have a “melt” button on your microwave, place the chocolate in a bowl and melt in your oven for 4-5 minutes at 200F. Then place the chocolate in the processing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and place in the processing bowl. Throw in a pinch of salt and the instant coffee. Process for about 30 seconds and as you do, this is the time to drop any liqueur down the feed tube. With a spatula, scrape down the bowl.
Gently place the whipped cream on top of the chocolate mixture. The picture below looks like a hot mess but not for long! Slowly pulse your processor just until the cream disappears into the chocolate.
The mixture will be very liquidy at this point. Transfer it to individual serving ramekins or into a larger bowl and refrigerate for a few hours. Garnish with your choice of items: berries, more whipped cream or a sprinkle of powdered sugar. And, eccolo, you have your Italian-style Chocolate Mousse. It’s all good!
Chocolate Mousse Italian-Style/Spuma di Cioccolata
Yield: 4-6 servings
Total Time: one hour
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Amaretto (optional)
- With the metal blade in place, pour the chilled cream into the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 35-40 seconds until the cream is thickened. As it processes, drop the tablespoon of powdered sugar down the feed tube.
- Empty the cream into a bowl and set aside. Do not wash the bowl.
- Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave on "melt" or a 200F (95C) oven for 4-5 minutes.
- Put a pinch of salt in the eggs and pour them into the processor's work bowl.
- With a spatula, scrape the melted chocolate into the work bowl and add the instant coffee.
- Process for about 30 seconds and as you do, add the optional 2 tablespoons of liqueur.
- With a spatula, place the whipped cream on the chocolate mixture. Pulse the processor on and off about 10 times just until the cream disappears.
- Transfer the mousse to individual dessert cups or to a larger serving bowl. The mousse is very liquid at this point but it will firm up after a few hours of refrigeration.
- Serve with either additional whipped cream, berries, powdered sugar or all three!