Chocolate chiffon

For the BF's birthday I made a chocolate chiffon pie, because I was just plain sick of making cakes.  The pie was so tasty that I thought the filling could stand by itself.  So I plopped it in a glass, topped it with a dollop of softly whipped crème fraîche to counter the sweetness and stuck a cookie in it.  Viola... new chocolate dessert for the menu!

Chocolate Chiffon

The recipe is taken from Ken Haedrich’s wonderful book, Pie.  It is lighter than a mousse and lightly coffee-scented.

Chocolate Chiffon
makes six portions
8 oz quality semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup strong coffee
2 oz butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Big pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar

In a bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate with the coffee and butter, stirring to melt and smooth.  Temper a portion of the chocolate into the egg yolks and then transfer it back into the bowl and continue to stir over the simmering water to cook the yolks (about 140º).  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let cool completely.  This can be done quickly by dipping the bowl in another bowl of ice water and stirring the chocolate (but don’t let it get too clumpy).

In another bowl, whip the cream and set it aside in the fridge until needed.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy.  Slowly add the sugar and whip to firm peaks (but not dry).  Fold a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder.  Fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain.  Spoon the chiffon into serving glasses and chill until set.