1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. bourbon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
4 large egg whites, preferably at room temperature
Pinch table salt
Tip: The egg whites in this recipe are not cooked, but we don't recommend using pasteurized egg whites, because they tend to separate after they're folded into the ganache.
Chocolate mousse can turn any meal into a special occasion, and this simple version—made by folding whipped egg whites into a chocolate ganache—comes together so quickly that is can elevate even a weeknight dinner.
Put 4 small (at least 3/4 cup) individual serving bowls in the refrigerator.
Bring the heavy cream and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan and remove the pan from the heat (don’t just turn off the burner). Stir in the bourbon and vanilla. Add the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes without stirring. Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth and then transfer the ganache to a large bowl. Don’t refrigerate.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and the salt with a hand mixer on high speed just until they form stiff peaks when you lift the beaters.
With a rubber spatula, fold about one-quarter of the beaten whites into the ganache to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites, taking care not to deflate them. Divide the mousse among the chilled bowls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but preferably 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Top the mousse with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche and sprinkle with cocoa powder, if desired. Garnish with fresh raspberries or strawberries.