Test Kitchen Confidential: Lightened Baked Chocolate Mousse

Here’s how our recipe doctors lightened a classic dessert—Baked Chocolate Mousse

Whipping Meringue into Shape
Photo: Nigel Cox

2. Whipping Meringue into Shape

Reducing chocolate also reduced volume. We needed the “loft” of egg whites but had to make sure they wouldn’t deflate. Meringue usually consists of egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. But whites in “peak” condition have expanded as much as possible and can only go down from there. We needed eggs that would puff up as they cooked—and hold that structure out of the oven.

Tweak: Deb did something radical by baking standards: She added whole eggs to the meringue, unheard of because fat prevents the whites from beating to stiff peaks. That was the method to her madness, though: The moderating influence of eggs would keep the meringue at soft peaks—getting air, but not too much—leaving room for expansion in the oven.

Result: Volume issue solved.

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