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Molecular Magic of Chocolate

Molecular Magic of Chocolate

Dan Kohler breaks down the science of chocolate.

Dan Kohler’s Nearly Foolproof Chocolate Mousse

1. Melt 200mL water with 225g chocolate over low heat. Now remember, since there are only two ingredients here, quality really matters. I like to use a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa mass, if not higher. When it comes to the water component, you can amp up the flavor a bit with some alcohol if you’d like. Just replace one or two tablespoons of the water with cassis, or rum, or whiskey, or Kahlua, any of those will make a splendid final product. And if you want to keep it booze free but still change the flavor? Juice! Try a splash of orange juice, or pomegranate.

2. Once the liquid and chocolate are melted together, take them off the heat and pour into a bowl set over an ice bath. This part is where the important science will happen. If we were to allow the chocolate and water mixture to just set like this, it would be gray and cloudy streaked with imperfections, and altogether unappealing. But, once it’s over the ice bath, if you start whisking frantically, you’ll be able to trick the water and chocolate into creating an emulsion!

NOTE: When you’re whisking this over ice, you can use an electric mixer, but beware, it will thicken incredibly fast and you run the risk of making something hard and grainy. Of course, if you beat this too long or hard, and it seizes up, no problem, just re-melt it with a touch more water and start over again! The genius of this science is that you really cannot fail!
I stop when mine is the texture of whipped cream. Pour into ramekins and set them in the fridge until I’m ready to serve. But if you’d like it thicker, just keep whisking! This scientific solution can be used to frost cakes once it’s thickened up!

Does it only work with dark chocolate?
Oh no, again, science to the rescue. White or milk chocolate will work just fine because both will act like liquid fat once melted. So tonight, whatever you have on hand, just melt it with some water and start whisking over ice! You’ll have a scientifically magic dessert in minutes.

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