Chocolate Chantilly

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davew's picture

I saw a recipe in Science News (of all places) called Chocolate Chantilly. It was an article about molecular gastronomy. The theory goes that any fat and water-type liquid, in the proper proportion, can be whipped into a foam. Whipped cream is a good example. The author reasoned that since chocolate is mostly fat it should be possible to make a mousse-like chocolate foam just by adding water and whipping. The basic recipe is 5 parts chocolate melted with 4 parts water or water-type liquid. Once melted transfer the container to an ice bath and whip until foamy.

Where I started to play was with the bounds of what could be considered water-type liquid. In most recipes alcoholic beverages will work just fine.I tried vodka first and it worked well. It added the warmth of the alcohol and leads to a slightly more intense chocolate flavor. The beauty of this dessert is it almost evaporates in your mouth making the experience much more like breathing your dessert rather than chewing and swallowing. White rum wasn't too much different from vodka. Spiced, dark rum is my favorite of the over-the-counter spirits. The result was a nice rummy, chocolately mouthful. Liquors such as Kahlua make this dish unacceptably sweet for my taste. I also tried Guinness beer, but the result tasted almost chalky. Hops and chocolate are uneasy friends at the best of times.

My absolute favorite, however, are infused vodkas. Both spearmint and orange work spectacularly well. My liquor store does not carry flavored vodkas, but they are trivial to make. In the case of the orange the zest from two oranges soaked in a pint of vodka for three days made an intensely orange flavored liquid that was perfect. I've been itching to try black pepper or cayenne-infused vodka, but haven't gotten around to it yet. The proportions will likely be less forgiving.





This is everything you will need to make the chantilly. The ingredients are a water-type beverage, mint rum in this case, and semisweet chocolate. The hardware is a bowl that fits both inside a pot for the stove and another bowl of ice. You'll also need a mixing device. A whisk will work, but I prefer a hand mixer. For this recipe I only had about 5 oz (144 g) of rum left so I used 6 1/2 oz (180 g) of chocolate. This made about 5 servings.





Put about an inch of water in a pot, place the pot on the stove, and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate and the liquid in the smaller bowl and place on top making a double boiler. Stir while the chocolate melts completely.





Place the small bowl into the ice bath. You want good contact all around to speed the cooling. A cup or two of water mixed in with the ice cubes will help make for better heat transfer and the dessert will finish faster.





Whip the chocolate mixture on medium speed. Mostly at this point the dessert is just cooling so there is no need for high speed. Plus the high speed tends to splash little drops of chocolate everywhere while the mixture is still thin. As the mixture cools it will start to thicken. This can happen in as short as five minutes or as long as 15 minutes or more depending on how much ice was used and the proof of the alcohol. This is a very forgiving recipe so do not fret about getting it to the perfect consistency.





As it starts to thicken you'll notice it is somewhat lighter in color. Increase the mixer to full speed for a minute or two. What you are looking for is something that is about the consistency of pudding. If you are patient the consistency of a thick whipped cream can be reached, but this is unnecessary. You just want some air mixed in so the dessert will maintain some lightness. The refrigerator will take it the rest of the way to a mousse-like texture if you like in about an hour. You can also eat it immediately. There is no one right way to serve it. Although the best, in my opinion, is to let it get good and thick in the refrigerator overnight and spread it onto chocolate chip cookies the next day. Yum.

The recommended serving size is about a 1/2 cup.





Enjoy!
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Ellen's picture

Re: Chocolate Chantilly

You did an awesome job of documenting this process! I may try it one day...

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Ellen
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