Introduction: My Favorite Mousse

About: retired chemist trying to stay out of trouble

You felt like just having popcorn for dinner. And now those feelings are turning to guilt. Because your body is a temple, right?

Good news. I have a balanced solution to those decrepit dinners — a healthful and delectable dessert. It's high in protein, low in carbohydrates, builds strong bones and muscle, and goes down easy. It's almost all air, so get out your Jethro Bowl. 

Plus, this dessert has no calories, so it's the perfect diet food. ((By "no calories" I mean only calories that we should be eating anyhow. So they don't count.))

Step 1: You Will Need

You will need a functional kitchen and these ingredients.

¾ C milk
¼ C sugar
¼ C cornstarch
1 C heaping chocolate chips
2 TBS instant coffee
½ C pasteurized egg white (albumen)

This is a 2 step recipe.

1) Boil and chill a killer pudding. Warning: Do not consume this pudding straight or your head and bowels will explode. Simultaneously. 

2) Whip albumen foam and mix with a little of the cold pudding. Warning: Do not use fresh eggs for this or you could die. Comprenez-vous?

Let's go.

Step 2: Boiled Pudding

Start with cold milk in a 3 quart pot. It really has to be cold. Add the sugar and cornstarch, whisk to thoroughly dissolve. Begin heating. If the milk is warm when you add the cornstarch, you will get instant lumps if you are lucky. Generally it means a big mess and do-over.

Have your ingredients measured and ready to go. I start on HIGH heat until the pot gets warm to the touch. Whisking constantly. Then throttle back to MEDIUM. Whisking constantly. Then at the 1st sign of a bubble, down to MEDIUM LOW. Whisking constantly. Then continue heating for 5 minutes at a very low boil. Whisking constantly.

This pudding will scorch or boil over if you goof off. That's why they sell mountains of instant pudding for children. But we're all adults here, right? Don't turn your back on it.

After 5 minutes at boil, cut the heat. Whisk in the chocolate and coffee. You could add vanilla too, if you want to get rid of extra vanilla. I transfer the hot pudding into a quart storage container to flash chill in tap water. Careful, it's hot. Then refrigerate overnight. 

Step 3: Whip It Up

When you are ready for dessert, put the albumen in a perfectly clean bowl. Set the mixer to warp 10 and engage. You want stiff peaks of dry foam. It's ok to stop and look and whip some more. 

Some people use a pinch of potassium bitartrate (aka cream of tartar) to acidify the albumen and get better foam. I use scrupulously clean gear and have no trouble without it.  

Step 4: Bring It Together

Immediately spoon ½ to a full cup of pudding into the foam and give it a quick whirl. The flavor is intense, so start off easy. Thorough blending is unnecessary, and some variegation may even be preferred. 

Step 5: Where Angels Fear to Tread

Now you can serve the mousse directly and be happy. But why be happy when you can be ecstatic? So garnish like a fool. 

Here I've sprinkled some shredded coconut and Hershey's Special Dark chocolate powder for contrast. I also dropped some frozen cherries, because I'm a little desperate for freezer space right now. 

If you hate sleep, a sprinkle of instant coffee crystals would work too. Or inject a surprise center of whipped cream to steer the mood in a different direction. Howbout some cubes of frozen cake to take it over the top. 

Step 6: Speaking of Freezing …

Yes we can!

Line a baking pan with cling wrap and shovel the mouse into the freezer. The bubbles persist to render a light, cleavable, frozen dessert. Have 2 slices: It's all air.

Cheers from Sarasota