If mousse au chocolat is a classic of French cuisine, how come there are so many different recipes for it? I didn’t know which one to follow when I set about making chocolate mousse at the weekend.
The first ever is credited to Charles Fazi, a Swiss pastry chef for the palace of Louis XVI. Plenty of variations have been created since his time. They can range from dense and chewy to light and frothy.
The amount of cocoa solids in the chocolate you use seems to be one of the key variations. Generally, the advice is to use a chocolate with between 60% and 70% cocoa solids, as more intense chocolates prove too bitter. I found a 60% one, so I used that.
Cooks also seem to agree that you should be careful not to overcook the chocolate and that adding a little butter lends a velvet-like texture to the end result.
With so many different recipes available, I opted to follow Mary Cadogan’s version, which I found in Living France magazine. Hers uses whipped cream, though some cooks argue that it dilutes the flavour.
As ever with cookery, the proof is in the eating. There were no complaints at the dinner table on Sunday. Although there are just three of us in the house, I made six mousses – and they all went.
I’ve drawn my own conclusion.