Sesame Milk Chocolate Mousse
Halvah, a traditional Middle Eastern candy made with sesame seeds, is one of my favorite over-the-counter treats. I use it in both chocolate and coffee desserts at Chanterelle. Sometimes I just place shavings of halvah on a plate to finish a dessert. In this recipe, I take a simple milk chocolate mousse and add halvah, giving it another dimension of flavor and sophistication.
Bain-marie is the French cooking term for a metal bowl or container that can sit over or in simmering water to keep the contents of the container or bowl hot—basically, a makeshift double boiler. Fill a pot large enough to hold a medium-sized mixing bowl on top with 1 inch of water and set over low heat. When the water is simmering, set the bowl on top of the pot. If you are using a bain-marie for a sabayon, simmer the water over medium-high heat.
6 cups, serves 6 to 8
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party
Taste and Texturechocolatey, creamy, nutty, sweet, winey
Type of Dishchocolate dessert, dessert
- 7 ounces milk chocolate (36 percent or higher cocoa solids)
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 2 ounces sesame halvah
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Bain-marie (see Notes)
Melt the chocolate and dissolve the gelatin:
In a bain-marie, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula (this will take about 10 minutes). In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 3 teaspoons of water and set it aside. In another bowl, whip the cream and set it aside in the refrigerator.
Make the sabayon (see the Note on egg yolk foams and sabayons):
While the chocolate is melting, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and egg in a stainless-steel bowl until they lighten in color a bit, 2 minutes. Crumble the halvah with your hands or chop it with a knife. Add the sugar, white wine, salt, and halvah to the eggs.
Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the bain-marie and replace it with the bowl containing the egg mixture. Whisk briskly until the mixture has thickened, doubled in volume, and holds the lines of a whisk, 5 to 8 minutes. (As you whisk your sabayon you will smell the alcohol in the wine evaporating.) Remove the bowl from the heat and add the softened gelatin. Continue to whisk until the gelatin is dissolved. Scrape the sabayon into the bowl of melted milk chocolate and whisk until the mixture is thoroughly combined and becomes shiny and smooth, and holds the lines of a whisk.
Incorporate the cream:
Scrape the lightly whipped cream over the chocolate sabayon. Fold the two together with a spatula or bowl scraper: place the spatula in the center of the bowl, scrape the bottom, and bring the bottom over the top. Rotate the bowl 45 degrees and continue folding until all the whipped cream is incorporated.
If you want to serve the mousse in a casual manner, let the mousse chill and gel in a large bowl or plastic container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before dolloping it out onto individual plates. Alternatively, for a more finished look, pour the mousse into 10 small serving dishes and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve this mousse with some toasted pignoli nuts or some crushed toffee sprinkled over the top.
2006 Kate Zuckerman