Chef MacGuire You Are Truly Missed!
Posted 16 June 2004 - 11:19 AM
Having never had an opportunity to dine at Passe Partout, but living not too far away from the restaurant, I was fortunate to have been able to take out on many occasions some of your outstanding croissants, various breads and the best darn chocolate mousse I have ever tasted. And then I drove by the establishment & saw it had closed and boy was I bummed! I can only thank you for so many years of providing Montrealers with exceptional food.
Would you please grant me a favour? Can you provide your recipe for mousse au chocolat? I would be forever grateful!
Thanks so much for being here!
Posted 19 June 2004 - 09:35 AM
There are various ways of making chocolate mousse, and probably the biggest problem is making it bitter enough. For "structural" reasons, there has to be sugar in the egg whites (yolks, whatever) to hold things, and if the chocolat used isn't extremely bitter, then things will be too sweet. Valrhona makes what they call " Cacao Pate Extra", what pastry people used to call "pure Pate", and this is what I use when there's a fair amount of sugar elsewhere in the recipe so that I don't end uo adding even more. I have never been a believer in adding such things as instant coffee to make things more bitter.
The very old fashioned chocolate mousse made by people at home was done by melting the chocolate, and whisking in the chocolate and some butter. The whites were then whipped, with a bit of sugar folded-in, and folded into the chocolate mixture. I don't have the exact amounts ( my stuff is all in piles since the place closed) but stay in touch and I'll see what I can do.
The mousse we made at Le P-P is based on Italian meringue:
400g Valrhona " Cacao Pate Extra" melted, cooled to lukewarm
250 ml egg whites
75 g granulated sugar
275 g granulated sugar cooked to small ball
1,000 heavy cream ( whipped but not stiff, no sugar)
-------- Melt the chocolate
-------- Whip the cream and refrigerate
--------- Put the 275 g of sugar on to cook with some water, taking the usual
-------- In the meantime, whip the whites, and add the 75 g of sugar to "hold"
--------- Be sure the small ball syrup is ready at this stage ( the whites will dry out
if left) gradually pour the boiling syrup into the whites with the machine
on. DON'T BURN YOURSELF. Keep the machine on while the Italian
meringue whips and cools to room temperature.
--------- fold the meringue into the chocolate ( first about half, well-incorporated
then the rest)
------- The fold in the whipped cream ( same 1/2 + 1/2 system as the
------- refrigerate, but don't serve cold
Be careful of the temperatures of the various components: As you can imagine, on a hot day, with the chocolate and the meringue insufficiently cooled, the whipped cream will melt and fall. On one of those really cold days, with everything too cool, the chocolate will "sieze" and the mousse will be lumpy.
Posted 21 June 2004 - 11:25 AM
I am very humbled! Thank you so very much for your response and for providing your recipe for the mousse au chocolat. Your directions are very precise and I know that my efforts will not go unrewarded. The old fashioned chocolate mousse as you described is exactly what I made at home but I was not doing something correctly because I found it tasted somewhat "gritty" and the texture was not very nice. I will try my best to recreate what I remembered from PP.
Thank you again for sharing your tips, techniques and recipes with us ... et à bientôt!?!