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Wine in chocolate mousse


Zannyrunner
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Hi!

I have been recently tasked with incorporating a red, fruity wine into a chocolate mousse for an event at the restaurant/winery where I work. I'm fresh out of pastry school so I'm still relying on my school recipes and knowledge from class vs years of work experience. I made a chocolate mousse today and had to add about 8oz of wine before I could really detect the flavor. The result unfortunately is a soft almost soupy mousse...which I would expect after adding so much of an additional liquid. My question is, how can I incorporate the wine, so I have the flavor, but still keep my chocolate mousse firm. My mousse is made by starting with a bombe (whipped yolks and cooked sugar), to that I add melted chocolate (14oz). At this point I also added the wine and then folded in whipped cream. If I add more yolks, will that help to stiffen my mousse? Would it make sense to cook down the wine and use as a reduction? Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

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The chocolate mousse I make starts with a pate a bombe (made with honey instead of syrup), and I melt the chocolate with either water, coffee, juice, etc.  I think it's 2 oz for 7 oz of chocolate.  You could try reducing the wine to concentrate it, see if that gives you a stronger flavor.  You could also use a little gelatin to help set it if it's not firm enough.

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What if you made a wine gelee from a really fruity wine like a brachetto, then cut it into discs and layered it into the serving cups? (the bubbles will make it interesting looking)  Maybe do dark mousse in the bottom of the cup, then the gelee, then a more milk chocolate or white chocolate mousse on top.

 

Or, make the gelee fairly firm and mold it in fleximolds to make small cups or bowls and pipe mousse into them...

 

Let your boss know that, while tasting wine with chocolate is a common event, mixing the two isn't so common. You have to be careful, both wine and chocolate contain a LOT of flavor components and you're risking getting a muddy mess, flavor-wise.

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Are you freezing the mousse in a special mold?  if so, the alcohol will not solidify.  I would reduce the wine first and add it to the chocolate, then add the remaining components. You could always make the whipped cream a little stiffer, somewhere between soft and medium peaks.     

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You could make a ganache with the wine, then fold in whipped cream.  Failing that, use the wine to make an anglaise, incorporate your chocolate into that then add the cream.  You'll always have a problem incorporating a lot of liquid into a pâte à bombe.

 

As Matthew suggested, reducing the wine might be a good idea too, and if that doesn't work, use a milk chocolate with a fairly mild flavour.

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This is an interesting idea. My first thought was like jmachaughtan's, to make a water-ganache with the wine (possibly reduced). Lisa's idea of making the wine gelee hinted at some other possibilities. You might turn the wine into a fluid gel, emulsify with the chocolate, and then foam it with a siphon. 

 

The exact gelling agent and method would need some investigation; you're working with acids and alcohol, both of which can be foam destabilizers. But I bet you can come up with somehting cool.

 

Lisa's right that there's a risk of flavor problems. It's a specific wine you're being asked to use? A port would seem like a natural mix for this. My hunch is to use as sweet a wine and as bitter a chocolate as possible.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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