A mousse is defined as a "prepared food that incorporates bubbles to give it a light and airy texture." Chocolate mousse is probably the best known manifestation, at least in America, where it is often known as chocolate pudding. There are many different ways to make it. Some produce a very dense mousse and some are like eating flavored air. I like it in between. Some are based on a custard, some don't use any eggs at all. The French use raw eggs, but I think most Americans shy away from that.
I tried several different recipes before settling on this one, the basics of which I stole from Gordon Ramsey, known on TV as the "Angry Chef." He claims that it can be made in 4 minutes. Maybe he can do it that fast, but it will take the rest of us 15 minutes or thereabouts.
Gordon suggests using amaretto as a flavoring agent, but I like Meyers rum better. Or you could use a fruit brandy such as framboise, or, if you want a choco-minty flavor, crème de menthe. You can also vary the flavor by using different types of chocolate. I've suggested using bittersweet, but the choice is yours. The key thing is to use good-quality chocolate. The cheap stuff just doesn't melt right.
The recipe calls for sweetening the meringue with superfine sugar. You can buy it, but you can also make it by grinding regular sugar in a blender or food processor. You can dress up the mousse by garnishing with mint leaves, shaved chocolate, chopped pistachios, jimmies, berries or even M&Ms. I like it topped with a bit of whipped cream, but it isn't necessary.
8 Oz Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
2.5 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Superfine or powdered sugar
2 Egg whites
1 Tbs (or more) Booze of your choosing
Garnishes as desired
To prep, you will need an electric hand beater (unless you are a whisk whiz), a metal bowl set into a larger bowl that has been filled with ice water, a bowl for whipping the egg whites and a double boiler or pot for making ganache.
First make the ganache. Heat half the cream in your double boiler or pot, but do not let it boil. Off-heat add the chocolate, a little at a time, and stir to mix thoroughly. You can do this the other way round. That is, melt the chocolate in the double boiler first and then add the cream. As soon as the mix is uniform, pour it into the metal bowl that has been sitting in the ice water bath. Add the rest of the cream and the booze and beat it to the stiff peak stage while it is sitting in the ice bath.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the sugar to make a stiff meringue. This can be done before you make the ganache. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Spoon the mousse into serving dishes , garnish if desired and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.