8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate
2 tbl Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbl Dark Rum, (optional)
2 lrg Eggs
3 tbl Water, divided
1 pch Salt
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Unflavored Powdered Gelatin
Melt the chocolate with the butter. Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool.
In a chilled large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium-high speed, whip the cream until soft mounds start to form. Quickly whisk in the vanilla and rum. Refrigerate until needed.
In a 4 1/2-quart bowl of an electric mixer, using a whisk, beat the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the water, the salt and the sugar until blended.
Place the bowl over a pot of hot, not boiling water. (The bowl must touch the water.) Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the granules of sugar have dissolved and the egg mixture has reached 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Place the bowl in the mixer stand and beat at medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture is thick and pale, about 8 minutes.
Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a small heatproof cup.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
Place the cup with the softened gelatin in a saucepan with enough water to come halfway up the side of the cup. Heat the gelatin mixture over hot (not simmering) water for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the gelatin granules dissolve completely and the mixture is clear. Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the cup containing the gelatin mixture in the hot water to keep the gelatin warm until ready to use.
Remove the egg mixture from the mixer stand and using a large whisk, quickly whisk the chocolate butter mixture and gelatin in by hand. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whipped cream into the egg mixture to lighten it fold in the remaining whipped cream and rum. Set the mousse aside, but do not refrigerate.