Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
It was a rather adventuresome idea to bring together coffee, orange, and chocolate. Sure, coffee and chocolate, orange and coffee, and chocolate and orange are all reasonable combinations—but what about the mixture of all three? The heart hoped for a dramatic triumph: the brain feared an unholy combination dragged forth from the flame-ridden kitchens of Satan!
Fortunately, in this case, the former triumphed in its hopes over the pessimism of the latter: the mixture that was produced was loyal to the highest commandments of the art of mousses, with a light, delicate, and elegant texture, to which it brought a fascinating and rich combination of flavors, married together in perfect elegance, none of them overwhelming the others. There is none of the overpowering vigor of chocolate and coffee, but rather a harmonious mixture of the three, with peaks of coffee flavor that complement the heady fruitiness of orange, rendered less aggressive by the melding of chocolate, while sweetness embraces and caresses the tongue from their accompanying handmaiden of sugar. Truly, it is something that melts in the mouth, as the rich interplay of flavors percolate into the spirit and enjoin upon the soul an ecstasy of appreciation of the Byzantine combination.
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This recipe is entirely my own, although it is based upon a previous recipe that I have made, a French-Orange Bavarian Mousse Recipe. This recipe has always been a reliable and useful base upon which to build other mousses, and the orange served for much of the inspiration of this recipe.
- 2 oranges, juice and zest
- 7 ounces milk chocolate
- 2 cups light crème fraîche
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine the 2 cups light crème fraîche and the grated zest of the 2 oranges in a small saucepan over moderate heat, and cook until the crème fraîche is completely liquefied.
- At the same time, combine the 5 egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, in a large saucepan. Mix together the two over medium heat, to enable the two to merge together. Strain the crème fraîche and orange zest into this bowl, first around half of the crème fraîche, then the second amount. Discard the orange zest. Stir over low heat for 15-20 minutes to allow the custard to form.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the juice of the 2 oranges with 2 packages of gelatin. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup of water to boiling, then add in the 2 tablespoons of instant coffee. Add in the final package of gelatin into this. Just before the custard is ready to have the ingredients added in, melt the chocolate until it is liquid (either using a double-boiler or if necessary a cruder measure like a microwave).
- Mix in the coffee, melted chocolate, and orange juice into the custard and carefully stir everything together. Add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and combine thoroughly. If everything mixes together well, then set into cold water to chill, otherwise over high heat cook until it has reduced somewhat, or add in more gelatin. The mixture should be a reasonably thick liquid, like a loose pudding. Once this is accomplished, refrigerate for several hours until chilled.
- Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream with the confectioner sugar, until stiff. Repeat with the 5 egg whites and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, adding in trickles of the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. In alternating sessions, fold this into the mousse, producing a light and fluffy mixture.
- Refrigerate. Serve in small bowls or in dessert dishes.
© 2019 Ryan Thomas