Possible Death by Chocolate — A Night of Living Dangerously

Well, I’m exaggerating for effect — I’m gonna make it through the night. But in the last five years or so my body has been rejecting chocolate in an agonizing way, depriving me of one of the consolations of the middle-aged woman.  I’m not allergic or anything. Let me put this as delicately as possible: a brownie and a glass of milk is one speedy and painful emetic.

Forewarned and forearmed I said “With my shield or on it, I’m going to make Dorie Greenspan’s “Top Secret Chocolate Mousse.”  You see, I need another cookbook like Sarah Palin needs another speaker’s fee but my respect for Greenspan and the terrific discussion about her here, at egullet.org  http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/134751-cooking-with-dorie-greenspans-around-my-french-table/page__p__1759138__hl__dorie+greenspan__fromsearch__1#entry1759138 broke me down,  my fingers typed amazon.com, and two days later it was on the front porch. Willow was perched atop it.

Lou spent a day reading through it, except when I snatched it from his hands and retired to the bedroom. It’s brilliant, in the helpful, anecdotal Dorie style and it’s about food actual French home cooks turn out for dinner. (They have a fondness for bouillon cubes, God bless them.) The recipes range from Gallic stalwarts like Pot au Feu to modern Vietnamese influenced plates. Of couse, as the modern mistress of the sweets course, the dessert chapter is pretty peerless.

Which brings me back to chocolate. –that and my recent resolution to add something sweet and saucy to the end of the evening meal. Tonight I made Dorie’s Top Secret Chocolate Mousse.

When she moved to Paris all her hostesses served up the same blissful magnificent mousse. (Note: I’ve not eaten Mousse au Chocolat since the early eighties.) She figured they all had the same recipe or ordered it from the same confiseur/patissier. At last one of her amies cut her a break and handed her a Nestle’s chocolate bar — the recipe was printed on the back.

When I read the recipe I laughed as Dorie must have: it was so easy, and so relatively cheap for it’s potential gustatory cheer that I decided to sacrifice my digestive system and give it a go. You separate three eggs. You melt 3.5 ounces of chocolate (the exact weight of the on sale Ghirardelli  Extra Dark  at Family Foods) and whisk in the yolks. You crank up the KitchenAid and beat the whites. Then, ever so gently, you blend.

Thanks again for the martini glasses, my fave nephew Miles:

And please forgive the tacky food photography featuring the sewing machine on the kitchen table.

We haven’t yet dined (steak salad, rosti potatoes) but I feel secure in the success of the sweet ending. And I  own a bottle of a chalky, lurid pink substance, just to help that sugar and chocolate go down.

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5 Comments

Filed under Books, Five bucks or fewer, Food, History

5 responses to “Possible Death by Chocolate — A Night of Living Dangerously

  1. Mikaela

    I hope everything went smoothly. I’m a sucker for inexpensive recipes and this looks fabulous! Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. We shared a spoon and a serving. It was dark chocolate, moussey and just the ticket. Intestinal tract OK.

  3. Kim Shook

    After making her World Peace cookies, I would trust Dorie with anything chocolate and can’t wait to get this book (I’ve already put it on my amazon wishlist). The mousse looks lovely and is one of my favorite desserts. No apologies allowed for the sewing machine. I take my food pictures on the island in the kitchen (the best light in the house) and there is always a book, a cat or a to-do list in the picture (I DO usually shove aside the ashtray for the picture!).

    I’d like to know how you like the mousse, please.

  4. Ahhhh—awakening (yea, at this unseemly hour of 11:30) to our ineffable Maggie and her gift of the word—October hath charms, indeed.

    This is the writing which drew me to your posts on the above-mentioned site, which kept me reading and commenting and re-reading, and gave us enough common ground to plant vast and profitable crops.

    Girlie, Girl—your cooking, which I’ve never tasted, and your enthusiasm—quite evident—are still exceeded by your way with the Language.

    Despite the mesmerizing paragraphs, I was still brain-burnt by “That sanctuary looks like it’s been hosed down with Pepto-Bismawl.”

    Glad you didn’t need it.

  5. I recommend this recipe — the mousse was light and tasted deeply chocolate. Light, but rich;Lou and I split a glassful with two spoons. Goody! I know what we’re having dessert tonight.

    Rachel, I never feel worthy of your kind words, but thanks.

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