Ok, this was an annoying one.
Humor me a mo’
Go online and find the most complicated recipe for chocolate mousse recipe. Go do it. This is blog so it’s not like I need to wait. It’s not like the words won’t still be here…unless the entire internet crashes—like ATT decides to tell the world to go fuck themselves—I’m off topic, have you found one? Good, now add six steps; that’s the Gordon Ramsay way of doing mousse. Basically, the whole thing revolves around mixing three different bases with some dominant flavor which defines the dish (in almost every situation, it’s limited to two or three). To complicate matters, the book (Gordon Ramsay’s Desserts) doesn’t make it easy for you follow in a step-by-step fashion. You’d think it would be as easy to—look-look; it’s just best that I dive right in and go from there.
300 g milk chocolate
(Don’t bother asking, the only milk chocolate you’ll find in any convenient form is milk chocolate chips. PC offers it in their Decadent line; I’d go for that).
1 quantity of Pâté à bombe
1 quan—wait, what the—what was that? Pâté à wha? Two a-graves? What the hell is this? The book says to flip to page 86, so I flipped to page 86. Okay, here it is, pâté à bombe base—the base recipe for all mousses Gordon Ramsay makes. This is good. Here’s the procedure for that:
"Prepare the pâté à bombe according to the basic method (see page 198)."
What the fuck? Seriously? Sigh…OKAY. Flipping to page 198. Here we go.
100 ml water
150 g sugar
5 large egg yolks
I only have one stand mixer and no hand mixer. I probably should’ve asked it for Christmas over Futurama Vol. 6. Whatever. I have to make stock syrup. I did this by adding the sugar and the water to a pot, boiling until the sugar reaches 120 degrees C and then remove, all without stirring. Easy enough, no? No. For one, 150 g of sugar is too little. What happens is that I got inconsistent syrup with portions at the hard crack phase and other portions at the soft ball phase (see, I learn). I don’t have a gas range; I have an electric, just as most humans have enjoyed since women invented the kitchen. Adding that mixture created hard crystals in my bombe base, forcing me to discard the sugar and half the eggs and start over.
Do what I do then, and use this very easy technique. Use a cup of sugar (It’s not like its expensive) and just enough water to soak the whole mix. Cook at medium-high but before stirring that ONE time, add a tablespoon of corn syrup. It helps. Using my digital thermometer, I waited until it read 120 degrees.
Meanwhile, through all of this, I’m whisking the six egg yolks. I know it said five; here’s the deal. Five egg yolks don’t reach high enough in the bowl for the stand mixer to properly mix them, so I upped it to six. I was using more sugar, so it worked out. When your sugar has reached the proper temperature, slowly drip syrup into the eggs while the mixer is still running. We’re still not done. Get a big pot with some boiling water and a heat resistant bowl overtop (not touching the water). Drop the bombe and whisk until the whole thing turns nearly white…eh, about five minutes. Set aside the cool. What’s next?
1 quantity of Italian meringue base (page 86).
Are you shitting me? Sigh…I’m just going to stay calm and not jump to conclusions. Maybe page 86 will have a nice and easy explanation…
"Prepare the meringue according to the basic method (see page 197)."
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I MEAN….WHAT THE FUU…uuuu….
120 g sugar
1 tsp liquid glucose
2 tbs. water
2 large egg whites
This makes more sense, but why doesn’t Gordon mention the liquid glucose (which is CORN SYRUP, by the way) in the Pâté à bombe base? 120 g is still not enough; I’m better off just repeating the first step from the previous base. Also, I’m using all the egg whites from the bombe base because they’ve already been separated. I’ll just use any excess for something else, toast them and make a funny hat, I don’t care. See my previous note as to why it’s important that I have more egg whites in a stand mixing bowl. Blitz on high until you got basic peaks and repeat as before, slowly drizzling in the syrup. The result here is much more dramatic. You have to keep this machine going for something like five minutes. The result should hang upside down in the bowl (try it…I dare you…double dare you…chicken). As you might have predicted, I don’t own two stand mixers, so make sure it’s squeaky clean before you start the meringue. A sane man would assume that I’d make the meringue first, but a meringue has a better chance of breaking down before a Pâté à bombe base would, so I’d still make the meringue last.
Okay…so that’s done. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool. Let’s flip back to the original mousse recipe and see what I need to do next.
"Melt the chocolate (see page 183)."
Holy Shi—you know what. Sighhh.
I don’t care anymore. I know how to melt chocolate. He’s gonna say “bowl over hot water or use a microwave.” I didn’t use the microwave. I should have used the microwave. Let’s move on. You’ll still need to whip the cream. Yeah, about that, get about 300 ml of whipping cream—the good kind. So for the third time, I empty the stand mixer and whip the cream into tall peaks.
To conclude this Shakespearean level dish, I folded the Pâté à bombe into the chocolate, following that up with the Italian meringue and then the cream. As I did that, I sprinkled in about a teaspoon nutmeg. Chill until set.
About thirty cups is the result, a side effect of increasing the recipe as much as I had to. Having a hand mixer would really help with this. An hour after folding, the result still hasn’t set to the consistency I expect with mousse. That being said, the result is still pretty fuckin’ good. I should be a tad bit more prepared next time, and I’ll be sure to have a hand mixer when I do so. Nutmeg and chocolate go well together and I’m happy I had a small supper because five eggs and a cup and a half of sugar do not equate weight watchers.
One last thing, Gordon doesn’t say this but I have read that you should never over mix your mousse, light folds only, and don’t be afraid to leave patches of white and dark in the serving glass.
WHAT I LEARNED
For one, make sure you put the cap back on your ground nutmeg so you don’t spill three bucks works down the sink. What’s that, I used pre-ground nutmeg? Yeah, fuck it, I couldn’t FIND whole nutmeg anywhere, so I used ground nutmeg. Don’t judge me. This shit’s hard, you know!
Sigh…I’m not angry with you.
I mean flipping through the book five times to make mousse…It’d get on anyone’s nerves.
Second, anytime you cook eggs with sugar, the result will be stickier than a seventeen year old Japanese girl to a rich Australian banker, so clean up your kitchen or else you’ll a scraper. Also, make sure you plan ahead and prepare some serving bowls. I often see martini glasses being used but I don’t drink, so I have two wine glasses (cause my Mother comes by biweekly), three ramekins, and a three tea cups, not terribly organized.