Intriguing ways to mix cocoa powder to make chocolate mousse
Tuesday 10th November 2011, Recipe 20111110
Intriguing ways to mix cocoa powder to make chocolate
mousse – an introduction
I wanted to show you the results of my experiments with mixing cocoa powder to make chocolate mousse. I was trying to improve on the chocolate cake recipe and the more experiments I carried the more question began to pop into my head. So here are some of the results of my experiments.
But firstly, I must apologise for being away from this blog for a month. I was chasing my real estate clients and working on my other blog and got into a fix about which was priority. I do hope I will be able to come out with something interesting before the end of this year.
How I came to test this intriguing mixing of cocoa powder to make chocolate mousse
It was one of those experiments carried out three or four weeks ago that I had not blogged about that intrigued me as to why and how cocoa mixes to form a mousse. I was making the original chocolate recipe but without the heating. That is putting everything into a tumbler and whisking it up. I had to microwave the cocoa butter with the dairy butter if not the cocoa butter would not melt in the microwave. It looks like that there is no water or moisture in the cocoa butter to allow the microwave to do its heating. Hence, as dairy butter is about 12% water I placed the cocoa butter in the dairy butter and microwaved it. This works as the moisture in the dairy butter heats up and melts the dairy butter, the hot dairy butter transfers its heat to the cocoa butter and there by melting the cocoa butter.
I placed the hot dairy butter, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, water, eggs, salt, vanilla and blended it together. As you can see from above picture it did not mix smoothly. It was still granulated. The temperature of the mix was room temperature 28C (82F) to 30C (86F). Remember there is naturally occurring lecithin in the eggs. And yet cocoa powder blend was granulated mix – like as if you had ‘burnt’ the chocolate.
When I added the sugar and blended the mixture it smoothens out. That was just amazing! It was the sugar that helped the cocoa powder blend smoothly. In fact I tried the recipe (see fast chocolate mousse cake) out twice without any heating everything in a pot, just dump all the ingredients except the sugar and blend. Then add the sugar again and when you blend it you will see it become silky smooth. I even tried it with fine caster sugar and got the same results.
What is the sugar doing? It is the sugar that helps the cocoa powder to smoothen out. Is it because sugar has an affinity for cocoa? Does cocoa bind with the sugar?
Photos of the ways to mix cocoa powder to make chocolate mousse
I repeated this experiment with just plain cooking oil. No dairy butter, no cocoa butter, no eggs because both dairy butter and eggs have naturally occurring emulsifiers. Guess what? I got the same results. There appears to be is some interaction between the sugar and the cocoa powder.
I added cold water and palm oil (the cheapest vegetable cooking oil in Malaysia because palm cooking oil for retail market is subsidised in Malaysia) and palm oil does not have any emulsifiers. The cold water was to ensure that and high speed mixing would not warm up the cocoa mousse mix.
Added cocoa powder to the water and cooking oil (the water and oil were not whisked yet).
Whisking all three ingredients, cocoa powder, oil and water, for 5 minutes
The picture was taken with the flash on so it does look light brown. You can observe how grainy the mix is.
I added fine icing sugar so that there are no large lumps of sugar in the mix that could break the cocoa granules.
After blending with a whisk attached to a stick blender the mousse looks smooth.
The cocoa powder sugar blend does look beautifully smooth.
How is sugar interacting with the cocoa powder? Firstly, with the early chocolate mousse experiments I noticed that the sugar cocoa gel binds well to the point that excess water will weep out of the mousse. This indicates that cocoa and sugar can bind pretty well. Now with the cooking oil experiment it is clear that sugar helps to smoothen the cocoa mousse. When you think about it you can use oil base flavouring to enhance the chocolate flavour. If you had added water to the mix you could use water based flavouring or falvoured drinks to produce interesting flavours.
This article “ Intriguing ways to mix cocoa powder to make chocolate mousse ” was researched and written by Peter Achutha