Growing up, I’d see mousse on the menu. Now, I didn’t think it was moose or anything, not that it would have disturbed me I don’t think. I wasn’t disturbed by a single meat that was put in front of me till my mother served up rabbit. That upset me a little.
The thing is, I never say mousse on a dessert menu. I only ever saw it in the appetizer portion — the salmon mousse. It did not look yummy. Creamy fish? That’s a hard sell on a kid. It wasn’t until much later that I saw the word appear in the dessert section — the chocolate mousse. In hindsight, I should have been thrilled and ordered it immediately, however, my whole basis for comparison was that mousse was a creamy fish. The logical jump from there was that the chocolate mousse was some sort of fish and chocolate combination, maybe for dipping cookies in. What would you have done?
I was well into adulthood before I checked my childhood logic and took my first bite of chocolate mousse. Whoops! Turns out the stuff is good. So, maybe I was the last to know that the word mousse refers exclusively to the preparation and not so much the base content of a dish, but since then I’ve eaten my fair share of the mousse. I won’t make it because I’m terrible at whipping eggs for baking, plus if you’re going to do mousse correctly, you’re supposed to use gelatin, something I still think is made from horse hooves. I’ll eat the hell out of the stuff, though, boy! I’ll even eat the salmon version.
It turns out you can pretty much moussify anything. I guess it’s kind of like a milk shake in that it’s always the same milk shake, the only thing that changes is the primary flavor. Makes me wonder if anyone out there is sipping a salmon milk shake right now.
Today, I ate a double chocolate mousse cupcake from my tried and true Tasty Pastry. Typically you’ll get some standard icing on top of a cupcake there, but in this case it was the mousse that sat, all swirled at the top. It was such a light and frothy concoction, yet not too light so that I knew that I was indeed ingesting an obscene amount of calories with each bite. The middle of this cupcake was excessively rich and creamy, that I’m not wholly convinced that the “double” didn’t refer to the icing and the cake. There was definitely something extra special, almost pudding-like mauradering through the belly of this beast.
Regardless of what was inside, I’m glad I was able to bring myself from that salmon mush of so many years ago to this most amazing thing we call a chocolate mousse.
See you Wednesday for National Cordon Bleu Day!