Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and I decided to honor it with a chocolate creamy dessert.
I read plenty of recipes for chocolate mousse, including the original French version, as reported by Julia Child. However, I really did not like the idea of raw egg whites in the mixture. So I looked more, and came across a way to pasteurize egg whites. It is actually an Italian method, which gives you a cooked, fluffy, meringue, without… cooking. It is called indeed Italian meringue. What is genial about it is the fact that one can “cook” the egg mixture by simply adding to it boiling sugar syrup. My inventive Italians… if only we could use our brains also in administering our country…
To balance the sweetness of the meringue I added bittersweet chocolate and coffee. It worked out wonderfully.
CHOCOLATE-COFFEE SEMIFREDDO WITH ITALIAN MERINGUE
You need: 5 egg whites, 200 g sugar, 50 g water, 200 g bittersweet 80% chocolate, 200 g double cream, 50 g strong coffee (I made it with 40 g of water and 2 table-spoons instant coffee). White chocolate for garnishing.
How to: Whip the cream and set aside. In a metal bowl, whip the egg whites with 50 g of the sugar, until white and fluffy. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 150 g of sugar with the water. When the syrup starts bubbling then it’s time to add it to the egg mixture, continuing to whisk until the mixture is cold again. You will have a firm Italian meringue. Melt the chocolate in the micro-wave and add to the whipped cream. Add the coffee and gently stir with a spoon. Incorporate gently to the meringue. Transfer into a plastic container and freeze.
CONSIDERATIONS: This was… let me find the word… ridiculously good. I hope the quick shots I was able to take in the morning, before running to work, can render a little bit of the sultry creaminess of this dessert. It had the consistency of a mousse after a couple of hours, and it was a perfect semifreddo after a night in the freezer. As explained to my sweet half -who had the treat as an early Valentine present- semifreddo means almost cold. And in fact it is something between a mousse and an ice-cream. Di-vi-ne. If you care for some decoration and extra taste, melt some white chocolate (in the micro is fine) and make the desired shapes on a baking paper sheet. Chocolate is never enough, isn’t it? Happy Valentine’s day to all of you!