Finely chop chocolate or process in a food processor.
If chopping, then use a sturdy chef’s knife to finely chop to small chocolate chunks or a semi-coarse ground texture.
Keep in mind that if the chocolate pieces are uneven the melting will be uneven and can lead to the mixture being seized.
You want all the chocolate pieces to melt almost at the same time. Moreover finely chopped chocolate will melt faster than large chunks.
Take chopped chocolate, butter, salt, coffee and cream in a bowl. Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature.
Heat ½ cup water in a small saucepan or pot.
Let the water come to a light boil.
Remove pan from the stovetop and place on the counter. Place the bowl on top of the pan.
With a spatula begin mixing the ingredients. The chocolate will melt with the steam touching the bowl. Continue to mix until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is even. Take care that the hot water does not touch the bowl or is very close to the bowl.
Let the ganache cool completely at room temperature.
Take the cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
With an electric blender, whip until you see soft peaks. Whip on medium high to high speed. You can also use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the cream.
Making Chocolate Mousse
Add ⅓ portion of the prepare and cooled chocolate ganache.
Whip at a low or medium-low speed until the chocolate is mixed evenly - up to 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the remaining ganache and whip again on a low to medium low speed for about a minute or until the mixture is smooth and even. You can also use cut and fold technique but it takes more time and more elbow work.
Spoon mousse in shot glasses or small bowls. Cover with lid or seal with a foil. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Garnish with your favorite edible toppings like fresh or frozen berries, chocolate shavings, dollop of whipped cream or a few mint sprigs. Serve the chocolate mousse cold as a dessert.
To avoid the chocolate from getting seized or becoming grainy, make sure that the water does not touch the bowl or is very close to the bowl.
Adding some room temperature cream to the chocolate, as I have done in the recipe, also helps with the melting process.
Also remember that no water should come in contact with the chocolate. Make sure that all your work surface and equipments like chopping board, knife or food processor, bowl does not have any water or moisture.
Mixing ganache with whipped cream
If you have not cooled the ganache completely before adding it to cream, this will cause the chocolate to become grainy and lumpy as soon as it is mixed with the cold whipped cream.
I suggest you use the very best quality of couverture dark or semi-sweet chocolate that you can find. Look for an ingredient label that boasts cocoa mass/cocoa solids/cocoa liquor as the first ingredient.
By all means avoid chocolate that use vegetable oil. A good quality chocolate will use cocoa butter as the fat. I also suggest avoiding chocolate that has any preservatives, fillers or artificial ingredients added.
In terms of percentages, I suggest you use a chocolate that is palatable to you. 80% or higher is considered bittersweet and I find it a bit too sharp for my taste.
I prefer making my mousse with dark or semi-sweet chocolate in the 50-70% range. In this recipe, I have used 60% dark chocolate.
You can opt to add orange extract or lemon zest for citrus flavors in your chocolate mousse.
You can also add a touch of vanilla extract, almond extract or peppermint extract to the whipped cream for more flavor options.
Replace coconut cream with whipping cream and use vegan butter or coconut oil
To make a large batch to feed a crowd, simply scale the recipe by increasing the ingredients proportionately.