- Yield: 1 quart; serves 6 to 8
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Chill Time: 30 minutes or 1 day
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 7 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped, or melting chocolate wafers
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pink sugar pearls for garnish
1. Put 1¼ cups of the cream along with the metal bowl of a stand mixer in the refrigerator to chill. In a small heavy saucepan, cook the remaining ¾ cup of cream over medium-low heat until it registers 160ºF on an instant-read thermometer; do not boil.
2. While the cream heats, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, espresso powder, and salt until very smooth. Slowly drizzle some of the heated cream into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly, then return the yolk mixture to the cream in the saucepan and cook, stirring, until it again registers 160ºF on an instant-read thermometer.
3. Meanwhile, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Put the chocolate in a metal or heatproof glass bowl and set over the simmering water to melt.
4. Remove the bowl from the heat, wipe the bottom of the bowl to prevent any water from getting into the chocolate, which will make it seize, and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a large clean bowl and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
5. When the custard has cooled to lukewarm, whip the chilled cream until soft peaks form. Reserve ½ cup of the whipped cream to use for garnish. Fold the remaining cream and the chocolate mixture together gently until no white streaks remain. Spoon the mousse into small espresso cups. Garnish with the reserved whipped cream and pink sugar pearls and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.