By now it’s a good while back that my friend Lutz and I had meet those two great women we anted to impress. Nothing easier for Lutz to invite them for dinner, since he’s a great cook. And careless as I am, I am offering to make the dessert. I had just come back from a trip through France and had tasted mousse-au-chocolat for the first time. That’s what’s it going to be.
Yeah, right. I really don’t recall the details of the recipe, but there were three core ingredients: chocolate, coffee and eggs. Which presented a few challenges. Working with chocolate is tough, so I hear nowadays. Back then I had no clue and I skipped the part that says it is complicated. I got it molten and I kept it that way for a while. Part two required half a cup of coffee. Great. The recipe I found stated it clearly. What it didn’t say was: brewed coffee or coffee powder. It’s french food after all, they do weird things to their food. There was no internet to look things up quickly. I had found the recipe I was working with….somewhere. And still no idea about the coffee.
So I mixed the coffee powder with the molten chocolate. And I needed to fold the chocolate mix into the egg yolks. Grumble. WTF. Folding A into B. No clue what they want me to do. Somehow I just mixed it. Might have been the right thing to do. Who knows. Who cares.
And then there was the egg foam. I did ask my mother how to make it: Separate the egg whites, add sugar and beat it into submission with a mixer. Well, there is no mixer in this bachelor household. There’s no need for it. Up until now, all mixing could be done easily with a whisk. Doing heavy whisking by an impatient bachelor without any talent to cook? Beating egg whites until there’s stiff foam? Exactly. I produced a layer of foamy egg whites, about 1/4″ thick, but not very stiff. And there was still plenty of egg white. That got soaked up by the chocolate/coffee/egg yolk mix and somehow stiffened to feel like a pudding. Good enough.
I didn’t taste it, since it was supposed to cool in the refrigerator first. And once it was cooled down, tasting it, would have left marks on the perfect surface. Off to Lutz’ house. He’s almost done with his part of the food. I tell him my mousse story and he raises his eyebrow. Coffee powder?? Funny. The rest of the story is short. Each of us tasted 1 spoon full of it and tried to get the coffee grinds out of our teeth for the rest of the night. I was branded as a clueless cook, but willing to take a risk… with the life of my friends.
Good thing we had Lutz’s food and plenty of red wine.