Impossible mousse


I just wanted to detail why it is apparently impossible to make chocolate mousse, contrary to empirical evidence. Yes, whatever you’ve been served under the guise of “mousse” most certainly is not. I’m very sorry.

For a start, let’s look at the problem of a recipe… I did a Google for “chocolate mousse recipe”, and tried the first ten results. Every single one was different. Not just different method – entirely different ingredients in many cases. Brilliant.

So, I just picked the first one, and gave that a whirl, despite it suggesting instant coffee is one of the key ingredients…. ah-huh…

The problem is, it tells you to “raise the egg whites”. Now, I have some vague idea what the means, but to be sure I tried looking it up. Apparently there is no such thing as “raising” in cooking. I tried a dozen online glossaries, including MasterFoods’, and none of them had it.

Brilliant. It’s like having a computer glossary which doesn’t have “byte” in it. I mean, come on…

Anyway, so I gave it a shot. But the problem is, you have to “raise” the egg whites and cream separately, right? And the recipe demanded “whipping cream”… not whipped cream; I did think of cheating like that. Since this “whipping cream” doesn’t exist, at least, not in our supermarket, I just went with ordinary cream. Perhaps a mistake, who knows.

So, back to the problem at hand… it turns out “raising” means beating the crap out of it with a handful of forks. I felt like Edward Scissorhands. After a while, Edward Scissorhands with thirty years of arthritis. My wrist is still sore now, two days later… it was killing me yesterday during lunch; I was tempted to stick my arm in one of the jugs of ice.

Anyway… so, this “raising” process takes ages. It took about half an hour to get the egg whites to do anything appreciable. After an hour or so, they appeared to be done. So I started on the cream. Cream is quite thick, you may have noticed. This did not go well. After twenty minutes there was virtually no change. And, of course, the egg whites had “sunk”, so that half of it was liquid again. Just bloody brilliant.

So, it seems you cannot possibly make chocolate mousse, using this recipe anyway, alone. Unless you can “raise” two bowls at once, which I’m sure with my level of dexterity would be an immensely messy exercise.

Of course, after two hours of this, with my arm no longer responding to my will, I caved in and went to the supermarket to buy a blender. ‘course, funny thing is… apparently you can’t “raise” stuff with an electric blender. It instantly undid all my work on the egg whites… I was less than impressed. It did turn the cream into something though… something kind of crusty looking and stiff. Hmm.

So, at this point I’d had enough. I melted the chocolate – which was easy, ha! – and mixed the whole lot together. It actually looked quite nice at that point, albeit a bit too liquid. Anyway, as we already know it’s currently residing in the fridge, trying to develop an exoskeleton. I will try it at some point… honestly. Perhaps when it shifts food groups to “meat”.

So, apparently chocolate mousse is not my forté. Jelly, I’m your man. Cake… well, I’m a man. Mousse? I’m apparently genetically indisposed towards it. Which really annoys me, because it’s the only thing that I actually really cared about. Stupid universal irony.

On the upside though, I’ve discovered that you can apply melted chocolate to anything, and it’s still fun to clean up… mmm…. delicious warm melted chocolate… excuse me, I have to go raid a certain factory in Blackburn… 😉

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