6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons strong coffee or 4 teaspoons brandy, orange-flavored liqueur, or light rum
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus extra for garnish
Melt chocolate any of the following three ways: in medium bowl set over large saucepan of barely simmering water; in uncovered Pyrex measuring cup microwaved at 50 percent heat for 3 minutes, stirring once at 2 minute mark; or in ovenproof bowl set in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Whisk butter into melted chocolate, 1 tablespoon at a time; stir in salt, vanilla, and coffee or liquor until completely incorporated. Whisk in yolks, one at a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next; set chocolate mixture aside.
Stir egg whites in clean mixing bowl set over saucepan of hot water until slightly warm, 1 to 2 minutes; remove bowl from saucepan. Beat with electric mixer set at medium speed until soft peaks form. Raise mixer speed to high and slowly add sugar; beat to soft peaks. Whisk a quarter of the beaten whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites.
Whip cream to soft peaks; gently fold into mousse. Spoon portion of mousse into six to eight individual serving dishes or goblets. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 2 hours. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours.) Serve with additional whipped cream.
Pairs Well With
I needed a dessert for a dinner party where at least half of the guest list was diabetic, so this dessert was perfect since it has very little sugar. It is important to use the best chocolate you can afford, I prefer Valrhona.
For an extra creamy chocolate mousse, fold in one cup of heavy cream thats been whipped instead of the one-half cup called for here. Make this mousse at least two hours before you wish to serve it to let the flavors develop, but serve it within twenty-four hours because flavor and texture will begin to deteriorate.