July 14, 2018. If you’re celebrating Bastille Day today, you might want to get out your egg beater. Fifteen minutes to make a masterpiece. If you haven’t done this before, it’ll be the beginning of a revolution in your kitchen.
It’s easy, but it’s a little complicated. You whip up three separate things. Then you combine them. Even easier than the amazing Chocolate Pudding Cake.
For 6 servings
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate pieces (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3 eggs, separated
2 – 4 tablespoons of sugar
1/2-cup of cream
1/2-teaspoon of vanilla extract
First, you melt 4 ounces of unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate pieces with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. In a small saucepan over low heat. You can use a double boiler, but it’s not necessary. I didn’t have a bar of baking chocolate, so I used unsweetened cocoa powder instead. It works fine – and it has one-fifth the calories of the solid stuff. Heat and stir it with a half-cup of water to make a thick hot chocolate, almost a fudge sauce consistency. Then stir in the butter.
While that’s happening, separate three eggs. When the chocolate’s smooth and fudgy, scrape it into a bowl. Beat in the three egg yolks. This is Part 1. Refrigerate to cool it down to room temperature.
Then beat the egg whites with 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar. I used 1, but I don’t like things too sweet. Even chocolate mousse. Use an egg beater for a couple of minutes to get stiff white peaks. Now you have Part 2 of the formula.
Go for third. Beat 1/2-cup of cream with 1/2-teaspoon of vanilla extract and another 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar. Yup, I used 1. If you don’t have the vanilla, it’s OK. Beat until you have soft, rolling peaks. Like whipped cream. Which it is. Now Part 3 is ready.
Finally, take your chocolate-and-egg mixture out of the fridge. Gently but thoroughly stir in two or three spoonfuls of the beaten-stiff egg whites. Then fold in the rest of the whites: gently steer them through the mixture. Don’t beat the air out of them by stirring hard or fast. Completely integrate them into the chocolate. Now stir in the whipped cream. Gently. Thoroughly.
The idea is to lighten the dense chocolate with the whipped and highly aerated egg whites and cream. Maintain the intense chocolate flavor. But turn it into an airy confection, not a heavy pudding. Rich flavor. Light texture. Like injecting fudge sauce with air bubbles. And cream.
If you can’t be in Paris to celebrate the holiday, you can put some Paris in your mouth. This is delicious. This will make you happy.
Chocolate for breakfast
That’s pretty much the recommendation of this study conducted at Tel Aviv University. It concludes that dessert after a balanced breakfast “can help dieters to lose more weight — and keep it off in the long run.“.
The researchers put two groups of obese subjects on a calorie-restricted diet. Same number of calories per day. But one group got 300 of their calories in the form of dessert after breakfast. Chocolates, cookies, cake. What happened?
After 16 weeks of an enforced low-calorie diet, each group averaged a 33-pound weight loss. During the next 16 weeks, the dessert-after-breakfast group stuck to the (now unenforced) diet and lost an additional 15 pounds. But the no-dessert group gained back 22 pounds. Here’s what the researchers conclude:
The participants in the low carbohydrate [no dessert] diet group had less satisfaction, and felt that they were not full. Their cravings for sugars and carbohydrates were more intense and eventually caused them to cheat on the diet plan. But the group that consumed a bigger breakfast, including dessert, experienced few if any cravings for these foods later in the day … Curbing cravings is better than deprivation for weight loss success.
The technical explanation: grehlin, the appetite-stimulating hormone, was suppressed in the dessert-eating subjects. Right after breakfast. And throughout the day. So the dessert eaters didn’t become diet cheaters because they avoided the cravings experienced by the dessert-deprived. Happy Bastille Day!
A luscious, transporting dessert for about $1 per serving.
Applebee’s Chocolate Mousse Shooter: $4.99. Five time more expensive than the real thing. Way Better is Way Cheaper.
Let’s Do The Math
If you make it with cocoa powder and less sugar, you can walk off the 135 calories in 25 minutes. If you make it with solid chocolate pieces and more sugar, you’ll walk 40 minutes with a great taste in your mouth. The Applebee’s Chocolate Mousse Shooter: about an hour and a half to burn their sugar-shocked 450 calories.
Every Thing Is Everything
Good and good for you
The British Medical Journal just published a study finding “The highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest levels“.
It’s Always Something
The University of Cambridge reported the study and pointed out that “commercially available chocolate is very calorific and eating too much of it could in itself lead to weight gain, which increases various health risks.”
Of course, the majority of the calories come from the cocoa butter in solid chocolate. Unsweetened cocoa powder has one-fifth the cocoa butter content and one-fifth the calories of unsweetened solid chocolate. The sugar in a sweetened solid chocolate bar adds more. Make your mousse with more cocoa powder, less sugar. But not too much less. I’ll use more next time. Just two tablespoons of sugar in a huge bowl of chocolate wasn’t even sweet enough for me.
Credit where due
The recipe is adapted from the Great One: Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything