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When I make chocolate mousse, I usually end up with a slightly rubbery surface on the mousse.

To make the mousse, I do the following:

  • Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water
  • Separate 2 or 3 egg whites from the yolks
  • Whip the egg whites
  • Mix the yolks in with the chocolate and add a bit of sugar
  • Fold the egg whites in with the chocolate mix
  • Transfer to bowls and put in the fridge

Usually when I go to eat them the next day, there is a rubber like surface on the mousse, but underneath it's nice and soft.

I am just wondering what causes this, and how to prevent it?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The cause is that the mousse dries out on the surface. It builds a skin of dehydrated mousse. It happens with most cremes, not only your yolk foam.

To prevent it, put plastic wrap on the mousse. Don't span it over the bowl, press it on the surface itself, without leaving air between the mousse and wrap. Your mousse will stay soft. This also works for custards and starch-thickened puddings.

In general, also cover other things you put in the fridge, or they can get an unpleasant odour.

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+1 -- This is what chefs do for things that develop a skin. –  BobMcGee Apr 8 '12 at 18:07
    
Have just tried this and it seems to work. Thanks for the tip :) –  GRA Apr 9 '12 at 14:10
    
But the whole point of pudding is the skin! :) (I leave mine uncovered deliberately. This technique is also used to make yuba, or tofu skin.) –  David Apr 18 '12 at 22:10
    
For custards it's also common to dot the surface with butter before cooling it (usually in addition to putting plastic on the surface). –  sourd'oh Jul 13 '13 at 19:02
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I suggest that you omit the egg yolks from your recipe. Add to your recipe: scratch whipped cream using 3-oz of heavy cream. Fold in the whipped cream just after folding in the egg whites. Allow the mousse to set for about 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. Then pipe or scoop into serving glasses, wrap in plastic wrap. Will keep 2-3 days.

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I don't see why he should use a completely different recipe, even if this one should be immune to building a skin (which I doubt). –  rumtscho Apr 17 '12 at 16:07
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I usually cover the surface with sugar. The sugar melts and leaves a fluid layer on the surface, which prevents the mousse from drying out.

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