When I first delved into making chocolate mousse emulsions, I looked at it more as a recipe of ingredients rather than a very precise processing with the right equipment. The right equipment not meaning some fancy expensive equipment. But rather the right equipment in terms of volume, materials, adequate mixing and temperatures. I will tell you once I get to the procedure....
I did this experiment were I kept the processing (precise making procedures) exactly the same for two very different chocolate mousse emulsions. Let's call them A and B. For A: 4 oz chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips) + 4 oz water + (sugar + salt to taste.) B: 4 oz chocolate + 4 oz chocolate soy milk. I thought that B would yield a more thicker, stable emulsion considering the soy milk is already an emulsion. Here's the Wiki definition of emulsion with some great diagrams. I define an emulsion to be a homogeneous suspension of two immiscible phases that is stabilized. To get a clear picture on my emulsions, I did some simple polarized light microscopy using the school (Cincy State) science lab microscopes. This picture is from my microscopy investigations. I thought that A would be a simple water in oil emulsion, and B could possibly be a 3 phase emulsion. That is oil droplets inside larger water droplets in the oil (chocolate) continuous phase. It turned out both A and B were 3 phase emulsions!!! I do not have any fancy high-shear mixers or controlled temperature jacketed containers in my kitchen, and yet I got some pretty amazing high-tech results. I am going to tell you know how you can do this in your home kitchen/lab. This chocolate mousse emulsion is amazing because you can make it as simple or as complicated as you would like and account for any dietary restrictions and ready to serve in 15 minutes. The most important thing about making this is having everything ready to go!
- Thermometer (looking at 32F-212F/0C-100C range)
- Rubber/Silicone spatula
- Small saucepan
- Stainless Steel Bain Marie (available at any restaurant supply stores for cheap)
- Stick/Immersion blender, preferably with whip balloon attachment
- Large ice bath for the bain marie
- Serving cups
- Weigh up equal portions of Chocolate and Water (or milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc) into the small sauce pan. Add in sugar and salt as needed to taste.
- Slowly heat up over low-medium heat with stirring. Heat until Temperature = 195F/91C. It should appear to be homogeneous dark brown liquid.
- Pour/scape all contents into the bain marie and place into ice bath. Immediately start whipping with stick blender/whipper. KEY: the mixer should be significantly submerged into the liquid - if not, use a smaller bain marie/container or scale up your ingredients. Great thorough mixing here and make sure that the container is well surrounded by the ice bath. It should start to thicken about 60F and thicken more as the temperature decreases. Now it is a matter of personal preference on how thick you want it. Take it while cooling & mixing to your desired thickness. It is possible to get too thick - so watch it!
- Pour/scape into individual serving cups and put in the fridge to chill for serving. But this is not necessary. I have been know to serve the individual portions immediately in an ice bath. It's usually gone within a blink on an eye.
The Sensitive Epicure