I am sitting on my couch watching the Inauguration and feeling especially patriotic today. I love living in DC and it has been so fun to watch the preparations that go into an event of this caliber. Last weekend, we went to Old Ebbitt Grill which is right in front of the White House. We took the Metro because most of the streets were closed due to parade practice. It was really weird to see Pennsylvania Avenue without any cars on it. Flags are hanging from just about everything that a flag that can be hung from. It is really beautiful and there is an energy that you can feel here. I cannot imagine what it was like in 2009.
But you are here for the chocolate aren’t you? I have talked a few times about how raw eggs weird me out a little. But since I have started working with Safe Eggs, I have been using pasteurized eggs in places that call for raw egg, and I don’t give it a second thought. Real chocolate mousse always gave me pause, but no longer! This simple dessert is elegant, rich, and needs to be made ahead of time, so perfect for entertaining. I used white chocolate here, but you could use any chocolate you like. White chocolate can be tricky to work with. I buy Callebaut or Valrhona, it is worth the price tag. The cream cheese is not a traditional ingredient in mousse, but it helps to stabilize the mousse and adds a nice little tang to cut some of the sweetness of the white chocolate.
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Safe Egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
8 ounces white chocolate (a high quality white chocolate makes all the difference)
Beat cream cheese and vanilla bean with an electric mixer. Add the cream and beat until combined. Set aside.
Melt white chocolate gently over a double boiler.
The eggs in this mousse are not cooked, so I use Safe Eggs that are pasteurized, just to be safe.
Place the egg whites and salt in a large bowl.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, slowly add the sugar and set aside.
Fold the melted white chocolate into the cream cheese mixture.
Gently fold the egg whites into the cream cheese and chocolate. Fold until just combined.
Pour the mousse into small bowls or ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours.
Serve with fresh raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. This recipe is adapted from Saveur.