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Choc Mousse, what am I doing wrong , adding eggs to chocolate, it goes beserk !!!! ???

Please help me Chow Hounds. I love mousse. Each time I make it, I melt the choc in a stainless steel bowl over very lightly simmering water, this all melts beautifully. Then the recipes always ask you to take off the heat and add the egg yolks and mix til glossy. When I add the yolks the mix goes all lumpy and thick, starts looking like a thick paste....which I then get the beaters to try and fix it, which makes it even worse so that all the paste is just caught in the actual beaters... Then it's time to fold in the cream to this goop and I can see there's a million little lumps that are going to be present. Then I fold in the egg whites. Consistency of moussiness is great, but I HATE lumps. What is the secret to getting the yolks and choc to combine without reacting like this ? Yes I used couveture choc, I think it was 60%-70% or somthing. I don't get the bottom of bowl wet, I keep all my utensils dry and clean....there must be a solution ?? any thoughts ??
One last question too... I think mousse should be lump free...do other people think it is satisfactory to have little choc bits through it ?

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  1. What recipe are you using? Are your egg yolks at room temp or cold when you add them to the chocolate?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy

      300 ml cream, 30 gms sugar, 130 gms choc, 4 eggs.
      My eggs were room temperature. All parts of the recipe work fine except adding the yolks & choc stage. I have a few more tips below that might solve my problem.

    2. The lumps are cooked egg yolks. You have to "temper" the eggs by sloooowly adding a little heated chocolate to the eggs and wisking the eggs and then adding a little more and wisking, etc. The idea is to get the temperature of the eggs approaching the temperature of the chocolate, before adding the eggs to the chocolate.

      Or maybe I'm full of lumps, myself.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yayadave

        ok.. I can try that next time. So I'll have my big bowl of melted choc..add a couple of spoons bit by bit in to the egg (yolks), whisking as I go...then put this slightly warmer mix back in my original bowl of melted choc ??

        1. re: pinktori71

          That's the way tempering is done. You would do it in similar situation making creme brulee. Maybe just warming the yolks would be enough.
          I don't know about chocolate "seizing."
          I hope we find out about "ribboning."
          Now I'm curious about your recipe.

      2. As other said, start with room temperature eggs.

        Add a little butter to the chocolate before adding the yolks.

        When you have the chocolate mixture on the one hand, and the beaten egg whites on the other hand (and be sure you didn't over beat the egg whites), incorporate a little of the chocolate to the egg whites first. Then add the egg whites to the chocolate. Incorporating some of the chocolate into the whites before you "officially" mix them together will help even out the egg whites and prevent lumps.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Darren72

          thanks. It was the yolks that were the problem, but I guess the principle is the same.

          1. re: pinktori71

            Sorry, from your earlier post it seemed as though both the yolks and the whites were giving you problems.

            Your original post didn't mention butter but your reply to someone else did. So I'm not sure when/if you are using it. But definitely add butter to the chocolate after melting it, but before adding the yolks. The added moisture should prevent the chocolate from seizing up. You might also be sure that you aren't overheating the chocolate in the double boiler.

            Finally, it is important not to add anything too cold to the melted chocolate (hence everyone's suggestion to use room temperature eggs). Tempering the yolks will also raise their heat and help prevent the chocolate from seizing.

        2. Are you ribboning the eggs/yolks before adding them to your melted chocolate? Everytime I've made mousse, I've melted the chocolate, with a little butter and a little salt, added a little rum and/or vanilla and/or espresso off heat, then folded in my yolks ribboned with sugar. Lastly, I whip my whites seperately with half as much sugar, and fold that in too. No lumps, just creamy goodness.
          If you'd like a recipe, I'd be happy to give you mine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rabaja

            Thanks. I like my recipe as it tastes really nice and the texture is great...I just need this glitch to be overcome !!
            Sorry to sound stupid, but what does ribboning the yolks mean exactly ??

            1. re: pinktori71

              Ribboning is when you beat your yolks with a whisk attachment and gradually add in the sugar. This can be done by hand, but a kitchen aide mixer makes it easy work. Once your sugar is added, increase the speed of the mixer and let it go until wavy, soft "ribbons" are created when you pull the whisk attachment away from the bowl. Then fold this into your chocolate mixture. You will get more volume out of your yolks this way, resulting in a lighter mousse.
              Not sure about the whole seizing thing. Generally chocolate will seize when a small amount of liquid is introduced into the mix, or if the temperature you are working in is quite cold. What is in your chocolate mixture before you add your yolks and whites?

          2. Unless your melted chocolate is very hot, it should not have cooked the egg yolks. If your chocolate turned into a thick paste, the chocolate has 'seized'. Sometimes chocolate does funny things. Usually melting the chocolate with a little butter or liquid flavoring will prevent this. If it does seize, whisk in a little soft butter or warm liquid flavoring will smoothen out the mixture.

            4 Replies
            1. re: PBSF

              I agree with this, the chocolate is seizing. You have to get over 170 degrees to cook eggs, I very much doubt melting chocolate is anywhere near this hot. Seizing is usually cause by abrupt changes in temperature and/or adding too much liquid at a time. I would have the egg yolks slightly warmed to about blood heat, add a little at a time and beat well to incorporate before adding more.

              1. re: cheryl_h

                I agree that the problem is chocolate is seizing, not yolks being cooked. But the protein yolks coagulates at 154 degrees.

                1. re: cheryl_h

                  Yes, it sounds like seizing to me too. But it's *water* and not liquid that would make it seize. Yolks should be high in fat which would *not* cause chocolate to seize. Is it possible that the yolks in your part of the world contain a higher percentage of water and a lower percentage of fat?

                  1. re: rainey

                    Everything you wrote is correct, though if the yolks were very cold, adding them to the chocolate could cool the chocolate enough to make it seize. This, of course, doesn't seem to be the case there, since the eggs were room temp.