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Recipe Source: The Birmingham News / Adapted from The Great Book of French Cuisine (Revised Edition), by Henri-Paul Pellaprat (Vendome Press, 2003, $35)


6 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons water
4 large eggs, separated (see note)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar or to taste


Combine chocolate, salt and water in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored, then gradually beat in melted chocolate. Stir in vanilla.

In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites until they stand in soft peaks. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture, mixing gently but well.

In another bowl, whip 1/2 cup cream; fold cream into chocolate mixture. Spoon mousse into a decorative serving dish or into sherbet glasses; chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, whip the remaining 1/4 cup cream with sugar and add a dollop to each serving of mousse.

Yields 6 to 8 servings.


Uncooked eggs can be a source of food poisoning. Davidson’s eggs, which are pasteurized in the shell, eliminate that risk, but the whites will take longer to beat.