Salted Caramel Mousse

Recipe by Trish Deseine via The Wednesday Chef

Yields 6 servings

This recipe was originally made with milk chocolate, but after a little consideration I decided a more complex, bitter chocolate would be great to off-set the sweetness of the caramel and saltiness added by, well, the salt.  And I think I nailed it.

½ cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 ½ tablespoons good-quality salted butter, room temperature (I used unsalted and then added 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt)

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

3 eggs, separated.

Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Do not stir. Cook over medium-high heat to a dark caramel, swirling as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar.  While the sugar and water are going at it, heat up the cream in a saucepan or microwave just until warm.

Take off the heat and deglaze and add your room temperature butter.  Add your warmed cream and whisk vigorously.  Add the chocolate, wait for a minute or two for it to melt and mix until smooth. I was a little nervous about adding the egg yolks to the hot chocolate mixture so I waited a few minutes for it to cool.  Then I added a little bit of warm chocolate to the egg yolks and stirred it around a bit just to bring the eggs to a warmer temperature and then added them to the chocolate mixture. Mix in the egg yolks.

Whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks and then fold into the chocolate mixture. Top with cracked salt and then divide between 6 4-ounce ramekins and chill for at least 6 hours.