Who knew mousse was so complicated…

My god.

I just put the ‘crust’ in the oven, but something tells me I did not do this right… In fact, you could say I moussed it up! (thanks to my friend Matt for that beauty)

I have big plans for pi day… except I’m starting stupidly late and given that my pi loaf failed, I had to get another idea. ALL DAY at work all I could think about was pi(e).  I was editing a document in the afternoon and maybe it was the giant headache that developed around 13:30 but I was actually subbing the word pi(e) in for other words while I was reading. Blargh.

Ok, so I’m not going to spoil the surprise of my potential pi-pie, but it will hopefully be a combination of dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse. IF tonight’s pie turns out.  Did I mention that this pie test will potentially be my mom’s birthday pie for tomorrow? No pressure…

This is the most nerve wracking recipe I’ve ever attempted… and I can make macarons!  😛

Must have been the headache this afternoon affecting my decision making, but the recipe I chose has NO pictures to guide me along my path.  The descriptions are… well, while they aren’t lacking, they’re not quite helpful.  I can’t quite figure out what “until they hold soft peaks, but not until they are stiff or dry” means, regarding the egg whites; And I’ve beaten my share of egg whites.  I came to a point where I swore they were done… but they were foamy. but they were holding soft peaks, and they weren’t stiff… or dry… but they were foamy and I’ve never stopped at that stage before.  I folded some into the chocolate and then was discouraged and beat the remaining eggs again for a bit until they were less foamy, but then I panicked because now they seemed stiff.

*pulls hair out*


I folded and folded, gently, and managed to get most of it into the fridge and a small amount into the pie plate which will apparently turn into the crust.

Did I mention my oven light burned out on me? So I can’t see a thing in my oven, so I now have a tiny flashlight so I can see what is going on in there… I just checked the crust and it has a long way to come in the next 7 minutes… *crosses fingers*

Time for the red wine… err, more red wine.  If this doesn’t work now, there is nothing I can change at this point. Lets just hope I haven’t wasted 8 eggs and 8 oz of chocolate.

So here’s the recipe, modified from Big Girls Small Kitchen


Butter for the pie plate
8 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
8 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch glass pie pan.

In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee in the hot water, then add to the chocolate.

Melt chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over simmering water.


In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes, until they’re lightened and thickened.


Slowly stream in the sugar while beating, then continue to beat on high speed for 5 more minutes. The yolks will be very thick and a little sticky.


Add the vanilla and chocolate and beat them in slowly, scraping down the bowl.


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Set aside and wash and dry the mixer’s beaters well.

(This part worked out fine.  I didn’t expect the chocolate to be sooo thick before adding it to the yolks though…)


Put the egg whites in another mixing bowl and add the salt. With those clean, dry beaters, beat the whites until they hold soft peaks, but not until they are stiff or dry.


(I used my electric hand beaters, since they’re easier to control and I didn’t have to wash everything for my mixer.  I am not sure if I reached the desired soft but not stiff or dry texture.  I usually keep beating until I’m sure, but this time I stopped early… I think to the detriment of the mousse…)

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In two or three small additions, fold about half of the egg whites into the egg yolk-chocolate mixture – no need to be very thorough. Then fold the chocolate into the remaining whites. Fold only until no egg whites show, using big but gentle movements so as not to deflate all those egg whites you just inflated with air.

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(Ok, this part worked out, but my egg white texture didn’t seem right)

Handling as little as possible, remove 4 cups of the mousse to a bowl or storage container. Store in the fridge.


(I was a tad short on this part, just by about 1/2 cup maybe less… but I feel this is significant since it should probably have been fluffier)

Turn the rest of the batter into the pie plate – it won’t look like there’s that much, but don’t worry. Gently, level it out. Bake for 22 minutes, until puffed. Turn off the oven and leave the pie plate in for another 5 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely – the mousse will deflate, leaving a high rim, which will become the crust.


(Argh. I just realized I didn’t do the extra 5 minute thing here. I was so concerned with it not poofing that I just took it out to cool. Being that it didn’t poof, I really don’t think it made a difference.  I have no high rim, just a flat bottom that looks exactly like it did when I put it in.)


When the baked mousse is completely cool, remove the reserved mousse from the fridge and gently mound it in the center of the shell. Spread it to the edges, leaving it slightly higher in the center. Smooth the top so it looks pretty to serve, but don’t deflate the air out of it.

(Insanity. Deflate? I’m not sure if it was ever inflated.)

Refrigerate at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight. The tart will set, making it easy to cut.

final product

I have to wait until morning to be sure if I really failed? I’m going to be dreaming about a chocolate egg monster chasing me into a dark oven all night. *sigh* I’m usually more optimistic even when something doesn’t go right, but this one hurts.

If this doesn’t work out, I’m going to bake a consolation chocolate pecan pi pie.  Can’t screw that up 🙂


I cut a piece this morning (and of course licked the pie lifter, fork and knife :D) and it is pretty awesome. The edge of the crust softened where I thought it would be crunchy and it looks pretty good… So despite my fretting, I’m hapy with it. More practice with the eggs and I’ll perfect it!



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3 thoughts on “Who knew mousse was so complicated…

  1. JKM March 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm Reply

    Looks amazing!

    • MissModderman March 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm Reply

      It tasted pretty good… It’s not perfect but for now it’ll do 🙂

  2. Pi(e) are squared! | Sweet N' Tiny March 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm Reply

    […] chocolate mousse is a repeat of Monday’s mousse… although, I stopped at what I thought was ‘soft peaks’ this time and it was too soft. There […]

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