Like Water for Chocolate: Heston Blumenthal’s 5-Minute, 2-Ingredient Water & Chocolate Mousse, Demystified

February 6, 2012

in Chocolate, Desserts, Recipes

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This seductively simple but seemingly odd recipe has been circulating on the internets for some time, and although the absence of dairy held this Wisconsinite back at first, my curiosity finally got the best of me.

In this recipe, you simply melt chopped chocolate and water together over low heat and whisk the resulting mixture over an ice-water bath into mousse-like concoction.

I’ve made this three times using several different kinds of chocolate, and here is what I learned in the process:

  • Though the recipe seems straightforward, some people have reported that their mixture failed to whip. This is because you need a fairly high ratio of chocolate to water for this to work. If your mixture fails to whip, simply add more chocolate, reheat everything again until melted, and whip again. Ask me how I know. Actually, don’t.
  • You don’t need to chop bar chocolate – it will melt either way.
  • You don’t need to use a pot either – a microwave works just as great for the melting.
  • Put that whisk away – elbow grease is overrated, and, in this case, does not work nearly as well as a hand mixer.

As to the types of chocolate, I tried it with bittersweet 60% chocolate (the percentage points to the cocoa content and will be listed on the label), a combination of 60% and unsweetened, and with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Both bittersweet and a combo of bittersweet and unsweetened proved far too bitter and sour for my liking. The one made with semi-sweet chips, on the other hand, turned out quite lovely. I also plan to try it with part milk chocolate in the near future.

Here is what I did:

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I used 5 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe.

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Because I bought mine in bulk, I used a digital scale to weigh them.

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I also thought this would be an opportunity for some chocolate-chip porn.

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Sexy little morsels. Think of all the potential they hold!

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Place it in a pot or a microwave-safe bowl and add 1/3 C of water (my water was cold).

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Whisk over low heat until melted. If microwaving, whisk until smooth after you take it out.

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Your mixture will be about the consistency of heavy cream.

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Have your ice-water bath ready: place some ice-cubes (I used a tray-full) in a bowl…

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And add enough water to submerge the bottom of the vessel in which you will be whipping your mixture. Be sure that no ice water gets into the bowl with chocolate.

Note: I transferred my mixture from the pot you see in the picture into a bowl, because the bowl’s concave bottom accommodated the beaters of my hand mixer much better (not shown).

Put the hand mixer on high and immerse it into the mixture. It will take a bit for the mixture to cool down, but once it does, it will begin to hold air bubbles. Once your mixture reaches the consistency of soft whipped cream, remove the bowl from the ice-water bath. If you like your mousse soft, stop here. If, like me, you like your mousse and whipped cream fairly stiff, continue beating for a couple more seconds but be careful to not over-beat, which at this point will happen within seconds.

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As you can tell, I like mine pretty thick and stiff. Also note how some of the mixture which was on the very bottom and sides of the bowl remained unwhipped, but I found these ganache-like streaks to be a lovely enhancement.

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And that’s it! Rich, thick chocolaty goodness for your Valentine, all in 10 minutes or less. Not counting the clean-up. ***Evil Laugh***

Serve promptly with whipped cream. This dessert does not keep well.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna@Tallgrasskitchen February 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I’ve seen this recipe, thanks for the ‘review’ and step by steps. The mighty morsel photos are lovely!

Reply

2 Greg February 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

And why would a recipe like that NEED to keep well. I don’t see it last long at all.

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