Spa cuisine isn’t about restriction and deprivation. I have had some truly decadent desserts at destination spas like the Lodge at Woodloch, Mii Amo and Miraval. One of my favorites is a Bitter Chocolate Cremeaux and I have been working with a variation for home. Like all spa cuisine, the key is about portion sizes, as well as preparing things in a healthy way. Years ago in a cookbook “In Great Taste” by Evelyn Lauder, I came across a recipe for Chocolate Mousse. It is a light and airy way to have a bit of chocolate indulgence, spa-style, because sometimes you just need a little chocolate love, right? The recipe was originally from a fundraising banquet for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation held at the Waldorf Astoria, and the recipe was initially published in their spring newsletter found here. The original version is simply decadent as is, but I have adapted the recipe for flavorings that pair well with chocolate by adding extract. I have done mint, and cinnamon (a personal fav), but as I write this I am thinking coconut might be a good one to try too.
The recipe has two main components — chocolate and then eggs whites. First, you want to melt the chocolate. While that is cooling, you can work on the egg whites. Just remember, before you get started, your egg whites (ok eggs) should be a room temperature.
Heat the chocolate over a double boiler. Since I don’t have one, I just heated the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Once melted remove from heat and let cool. Note: prior to cooling is where I add a teaspoon or two, depending on taste of extract if I want some flavoring. (e.g. Peppermint extract, Cinnamon extract, maybe Coconut extract).
For the egg whites, these as mentioned, are at room temperature. Beat the egg whites and some sugar with an electric mixer until you form stiff peaks.
Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the cooled melted chocolate (cool, but not hard) and combine lightly until mixed.
Spoon into individual containers, or pour into one large serving dish. Again, spa-style is about small portion and so, I used small dessert ramekins. Or you can creative with small mason jars, whatever you have…
And chill for a few hours. And that’s it! Simple, and decadent, and if done right (portion size), spa-inspired.
This recipe makes about 5 spa-portion servings or about 3 regular portion sized servings..
- 4 ounces of good chocolate 70% cacao or bittersweet chocolate
- 3-3.5 eggs whites, at room temperature
- 1.5 tablespoons of sugar
- optional: 1-2 teaspoons, to taste of your favorite extract flavor that pairs well with chocolate…
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Keep a close watch to avoid burning, and stir frequently. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool slightly. If you want to add any extract, now is the time to do it, but this is optional.
- Separately, combine the egg whites and sugar, and beat with an electric mixer (hand-held) until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites into the melted chocolate, spoon into your individual dessert bowls, or a large serving bowl. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
- If preparing without extract, garnish with fruit as desired.
Adapted from a recipe provided in the newsletter, provided here.