Chocolate Orange Mousse (Serves 6 to 8)
Copyright 2004, Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Quentin Bacon
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup Grand Marnier liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, separated
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
½ cup cold heavy cream
Whipped Cream for decoration
Mandarin oranges, drained, for decoration
Combine the two chocolates, Grand Marnier, ¼ cup water, and the vanilla in a heat-proof bowl. Set it over a pan of simmering water just until the chocolate melts. Cool completely to room temperature. Whisk in the orange zest and butter until combined.
Place the egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick and pale yellow. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a large bowl.
Place 1 cup of egg whites (save or discard the rest), the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until firm but not dry. Whisk ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula.
Without cleaning the bowl or whisk, whip the heavy cream and the remaining tablespoon of sugar until firm. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into individual dishes or an 8-cup serving bowl. Chill and decorate with whipped cream and oranges. Serve with extra whipped cream on the side.