Baked Chocolate Mousse

Baked Chocolate Mousse

Total time: 1 hour plus optional chilling

2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter plus butter for buttering molds
2 teaspoons sugar for dusting molds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites Pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two individual 6- to 8-ounce ovenproof ramekins and dust them with sugar. Set them on a rack in a larger baking pan that will hold them without crowding.

  2. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter bit by bit. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

  3. Beat the egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Fold them into the chocolate mixture, then spoon the mixture into the two ramekins.

  4. Carefully add boiling water to the large baking dish so the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place in the oven and bake about 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature or chill thoroughly before serving. Serve with whipped cream.

Yield: 2 servings. Cinnamon-Chocolate Pudding Total time: 10 minutes plus chilling 1/4 cup cocoa 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 1/2 cups milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

  1. Combine the cocoa, cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and mix well. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

  2. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the pudding just comes to a boil and is thick and smooth. Pour it into two goblets or dessert dishes, cover with plastic wrap, place directly on the surface and serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Yield: 2 servings.