This looks like a super simple recipe, and it is, as long as you are careful with the addition of the syrup when making your pâte à bombe. It is also much easier if you do a double batch, but a single batch makes more than enough for home use. It freezes well, so you make the decision if you want it in your freezer, calling your name. Taunting you. Beckoning you. Or just eat it all before you have a chance to freeze it and be happy.
The syrup is easier to pour if you have a sugar pan or one with a lip on it to keep it from running down the side of the pan. You want to pour slowly. Pour too fast and you will curdle your eggs, pour too slow and the sugar will set in the pan before it all gets out. Some of it will stay in the pan coating it, but don't fuss with it too much.
You will also want your mixer on a low setting. Even pouring it the sugar on medium is too high. You are going to aim to hit the egg yolks just between the wall of the mixer and the whisk. It will surely happen that you miss and some will end up on the wall of the bowl, don't stress about it. This is also a situation where soaking the bowl and the syrup pan for awhile after making this will work well and doesn't make you a procrastinator. The water will soak the sugar off making cleaning more efficient.
Like all my recipes that feature raw egg yolks, I use pasteurized to avoid salmonella issues. If you wanna chance it on farm fresh eggs, that's your deal. I'm not going to take the risk with my customers, even with a warning, on a dessert of all things.
This recipe came from a French pastry chef I worked for in TriBeCa, thus, the recipe I use is done properly. By weight and in grams.
- 100 grams heavy cream
- 475 grams chocolate, any type will work*, even white, but dark chocolate works best
- 333 grams sugar
- 100 grams water
- 320 grams egg yolks, pasteurized are preferable, room temperature
Whip the cream to stiff peaks in your stand mixer. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and set aside in your fridge, then wash and dry the stand mixer bowl. I have two stand mixer bowl and attachment sets, which is very convenient, but also unnecessary.
Melt the chocolate in a large mixing bowl over a water bath and set aside on the counter. Melt it until it is just melted. Don't get it super hot. You just need it melted enough to incorporate the pâte à bombe.
Now, time to make the pâte à bombe! Start whisking your egg yolks on medium, this will increase their volume and make it slightly easier to pour in the boiling sugar syrup. Put your sugar and water into a heavy bottomed pan, mix them enough that they come together, then place on the stove over high heat. Use a wet pastry brush to periodically wipe the sides of the pan of sugar crystals as it comes to boiling. Cook it until it hits 121 degrees celcius. Immediately take it to your egg yolks and turn the mixer on to LOW. I am usually on speed 2 on our Kitchen Aid. SLOWLY pour the syrup in between the whisk and the bowl. Let thine aim be true and your mixer on low, for if thou pourest thy sugar in on high, thou wilt have at least second degree burns on thy skin and a whole bunch of sugar to clean off your walls and clothes. (I hope I am hammering home this whole speed thing)
Once all the sugar you could get in is in, turn the speed up to medium. If its not sloshing around violently, turn it up to high and whip it until it is barely warm to the touch.
Now, fold your pâte à bombe into your melted chocolate until it is fully incorporated. Then fold your whip cream into your egg/chocolate mix in two batches until it is even. At this point you can pipe it into champagne glasses if that is your want, or transfer it to a smaller bowl.
Cool, covered in your fridge for about four hours. Our Pistachio Shortbread cookies are a great accompaniment to the chocolate mousse.
*If you use white chocolate it is best to freeze it to make a semifreddo, at least in my experiance.