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HELP: Keeping chocolate from seizing

jocelyng's picture

Happy New Year everyone!


I'm preparing the cover recipe from Bon Appetit's December issue (A. Medrich's Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Hazelnut Crunch Crust).  The reviews were mixed, at best, but I am forging ahead anyway.  My question is about the way she prepares the mousse.  Here is the section I am wondering about:


Mousse
10 ounces imported gianduja bars (hazelnut-flavored milk chocolate, such as Callebaut), chopped

1 1/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon (scant) salt
3 tablespoons water


For mousse:
Place gianduja in metal bowl. Pour enough water into large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch; bring to simmer. Remove from heat; place bowl with gianduja in hot water in skillet. Stir until gianduja is smooth. Remove bowl from water; cool gianduja to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat cream and salt in another bowl until very soft peaks form (when bowl is tilted, cream should be fluffy but still pourable and flow to one side). Mix 3 tablespoons water into melted gianduja. Pour whipped cream over and fold into gianduja just until incorporated (mousse will be very soft).


Some people said that the chocolate seized when they put the water in, and some people didn't have a problem.  Why would that be?  Is there a way to prevent it from seizing?  If it seizes, can I fix it by adding more water?  I heard that if you add "enough liquid" the chocolate won't seize.


Usually I would just dump it out and do it again, but I don't have any extra gianduja (and it was impossible to find).


Many thanks.  I'm melting the chocolate now, so a quick response would be very helpful.


Jocelyn

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #63387, reply #1 of 11)

Not any sort of pro when it comes to chocolate, (unless you count eating it) but I'd just skip the water and see how the texture of the mousse comes out.

~RuthAnn

~RuthAnn

jocelyng's picture

(post #63387, reply #2 of 11)

Ha!  Some of the comments said that the water was necessary for the consistency of the mousse...


Jocelyn

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #63387, reply #3 of 11)

I might try adding it after incorporating the cream then.
Chocolate + water = bad.

~RuthAnn

~RuthAnn

Astrid's picture

(post #63387, reply #4 of 11)

If the water is cold it will probably make the chocolate seize. Hot or medium hot water might not.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
jocelyng's picture

(post #63387, reply #5 of 11)

I know what you mean.  I was very nervous pouring it in, but it was enough that the chocolate didn't seize at all.  It was a nice consistency. The cake is in the fridge now.  It is supposed to chill overnight, but we were out late last night, so I finished it this morning.  We won't eat it until probably 10:00, anyway, so it should be okay.  In the meantime, only 62% would make it again, so we should have read the comments before we started!  Keep your fingers crossed!


Jocelyn

KarenP's picture

(post #63387, reply #6 of 11)

    Alice said in a class that a little bit of water is evil for chocolate.  You need a lot or none because of seizing.  I'd do what KW suggested.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63387, reply #7 of 11)

I'm glad it worked out OK for you. I've had my eye on that cake too. Do report back on ho it tastes.

If you do ever have trouble with the chocolate seizing, adding more water, little by little, is the way to go. A little liquid will seize chocolate, but a little more will smooth it out again. The temperature of the water is completely irrelevant.

I wouldn't skip the water step and just fold in the cream. The water is there to soften the chocolate so that it folds in better, without hardening and making clumps, and will also make the finished mousse softer. And I wouldn't add the water after the cream for fear of deflating the mousse too much.

If I had to guess, the people with seizing problems tried adding the water little by little. It will work better if you just dump it in all at once.


Edited 12/31/2004 4:46 pm ET by COOKIM0NSTER

jocelyng's picture

(post #63387, reply #8 of 11)

That's what I figured.  I have to say that the extremes in the reviews (from "greatest cake ever" to "disgusting") was pretty off-putting.  We'll see how it goes tonight.  I will definitely let you know.  One thing I will say is that it is time consuming and not cheap.  The only gianduja bars I could find (after searching 4 supermarkets) was Cote D'or.  I needed three bars at $5.79 each.  That doesn't even consider the box of Rice Krispies that I have to find some way to finish because my kids don't eat cereal LOL.  (The cereal is in the crunch crust.)


Jocelyn

Astrid's picture

(post #63387, reply #9 of 11)

Ah so, water temp. doesn't matter. Thanks.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
jocelyng's picture

(post #63387, reply #10 of 11)

The dessert turned out well.   Everyone enjoyed it.  MY DSIL said she would make it again, and I might do it for a fancy party.  It was a beautiful cake to look at and delicious. A couple of points:  the crunch layer did separate from the cake layer, but I just stuck it back on when I cut it.  I used a hot dry knife to cut each slice so I could easily get through the crunch layer.  I can send you a link to the full recipe if you want it.


Jocelyn

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63387, reply #11 of 11)

Thanks for the report. I'm going to keep this one on my "to try" list.