This baked (then chilled) mousse is rich with milk chocolate taste and a hint of nutty sweetness from canned chestnut purée. Dust the tops with edible gold flakes, if desired (from bakery supply stores).
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1-1/3 cups canned chestnut purée
2/3 cup whipping cream
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Step 2: Heat the chocolate, chestnut purée and whipping cream on medium heat to soften the purée and melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted, use a potato masher to break up the lumps of purée. Small lumps will remain and are not a problem. Cool slightly.
Step 3: Beat the egg white, gradually adding the sugar, to soft peaks. Set aside.
Step 4: Stir in a spoonful of the chocolate mixture to temper the egg yolks before adding the rest, plus the vanilla. Pour into the beaten egg whites. Fold until blended. Fill 8 1/2-cup ramekins or 6 2/3-cup ramekins (or other ovenproof cups).
Step 5: Place the ramekins in a bain-marie (a roasting pan filled with hot tap water halfway up the sides of the ramekins works well) and bake about 25 minutes, or until the mousses are slightly puffed but still wobbly. Cool at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill until thoroughly cold.