The year was 1999. Christmas time. My Office Manager always made an over-the-top dessert for the office party; dishes like Bouche de Noel with handmade meringue mushrooms, German Chocolate Cake with her own cherry filling, and Chocolate Mousse Cake with homemade painted chocolate leaves. You know those desserts, when you take a bite and you’re suddenly dreaming of eating this one thing every day for the rest of your life or sneaking off to the supply closet with the rest of the McDreamy dish right this very minute. Paula’s Chocolate Mousse made me want to be a glutton, or a chef, or Julia Child. The recipe was clipped from a 1970s issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I begged her for the recipe, promising my firstborn, my car, and my Grandma’s heirloom earrings in exchange.
My chocolate addiction comes from my Dad, so I promptly attempted to make the mousse for him the very next week. If you take a minute to look at the recipe, you’ll see that it’s a 2-day affair. Day one consists of making the crust, the frou-frou chocolate leaves, whipping heavy cream into a frenzy, but stopping before you’re churning butter, melting a googolplex of chocolate, separating eggs, whisking the whites into stiff peaks, watching the peaks break and fall, speeding to the store for more eggs, separating the eggs, whisking the whites, and then making the mousse out of each carefully crafted ingredient. After everything comes together, you have to pour it into the chocolate crumb crust and put it in the fridge over night.
Yes, what I’m saying is that you’re going to have a vat of rich chocolately goodness and you’re going to have to wait at least 6 hours to eat it. Or you can throw caution to the wind, grab your biggest wooden spoon, and just go crazy. That’s not what I did, of course. I was making dessert for my dad and if I ate the whole bowl of mousse, I would have had to rush back to the store for more heavy cream, chocolate, eggs, and cookies, while praying to the gods of gluttonous girls that I used pasteurized eggs. 13 hours and two batches of mousse later, my dad said it was the best thing he’d ever eaten. Good thing he enjoyed it because I never made it again. I couldn’t handle the temptation and can’t really cook from prison. Turns out, the authorities frown on selling your kids for chocolate.
If you’re brave enough to try it out, you can find Bon Appetit’s Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe by clicking the link. Enjoy!
~Sara Spock is a Mom, Wife, Penn State Graduate, Substitute Teacher, Freelance Writer, and Chocolate Addict. When she’s not looking for clever ways to use the word googolplex, Sara can be found over at The Hero Complex where she tries to save the world, one. recipe. at. a. time.