Whether you make the classic chocolate or rich peanut butter, this is a foolproof recipe. Just whip stuff and melt stuff. It’s so much easier than you would ever think.
THE RAMBLE: WINNER FOR TEAM SPAIN!
LET’S TALK ABOUT the easiest but fanciest thing you’ll ever make: ‘Frah-swah Prem-ee-ay’. Can you boil stuff in a pot? Can you push a button on your mixer? Then you can make these very fancy Francois Premiers! I saw Julia Baker make these on Cooking Channel and at first I thought, “Oh wow, if only I could make something like that!”, and then she made them and I couldn’t believe how easy it was! I thought, “Oh yeah, I can do that!” And here we are and here you are. Guess what, YOU can make these too! This is the recipe to impress, so think of someone special or someone who has the impossible perfection standard set for you, and you’ll win them over. Let’s watch Iggy Azalea’s homage to Clueless video while we continue our conversation (I tried to find an edited one, but couldn’t, so 2 bad words, head up):
LET’S TALK ABOUT what I did. I added a peanut butter option, of course, because it’s the best, and I also made the base and ganache topping a lot thinner. I love these because they’re not really that sweet at all; I hate desserts that require their own carafe of water and leave you coughing when you’re done. Not these. They’re rich but very clean, not sickening, and thats what a refined dessert should be. Just pure chocolate and peanut butter flavors without the cloying sweetness. Now, are these healthy? Before I get on my rant about why I hate that word, I will say no. The foundation of the mousse and ganache is heavy cream, the cook’s cheater ingredient. But is is delicious, just basically what is in a great ice cream, just done in a little different way. Regardless, these are worth the fat, I promise. **I use heavy whipping cream for the whole thing, and it turns out just fine. There is a slight difference in the butterfat of whipping vs heavy cream, but they both work just as well, so if you’re cheap like me, just get one thing**. Luckily, the brownie base is grain/gluten free, so I guess there is a win. I just used a silicon mold from Walmart that is in their craft-baking-candy aisle, and when I bought it, they were $10, now they’re about $4 from what I saw. Any silicon mold will work, and that is important because the flexibility of the material is helpful when you’re unmolding them. Rounder is best so there are no corners to get mousse stuck in, if you can find one. If you can’t find anything at Walmart or Hobby Lobby, then just use paper cups, fill about 1/2-3/4 full, top with a brownie base that will fit, then just cut the cup off when you’re done. There maybe a few dents, but that would work well too.
WHO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT making great desserts: Cooking Channel TV’s Julia Baker, Jes @whiskwander of her blog Whisk and Wander, Linda @linda_lomelino of her blog Call Me Cupcake, Teresa of her blog Now, Forager, America’s Test Kitchen @TestKitchen, Cook’s Country, Zoe Nathan @ZoeNathanLoeb and her book and bakery Huckleberry, King Arthur Flour, Eugenie @EugenieKitchen from her blog Eugenie Kitchen, David Leite and his site Leite’s Culinaria, SugarWinzy, Sandra and her blog La Receta de la Felicidad (Spanish and English option).
Francois Premiers, 2 Flavors (Chocolate Mousse Domes)
Adapted from Sweet Julia, makes 6 domes (depending on mold), medium level effort, about 7 hrs total.
Brownie Base: (about 25 mins + 4 hrs cooling time)
1 3/4 cup (one 10 oz bag) 53% cocoa chocolate chips
1 (8 TBS) stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 eggs (room temp ideal)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup cornstarch
For Chocolate Mousse: (about 10 mins + 3 hrs freezing time)
2/3 cup heavy cream (See note above**)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup whipping cream
For Peanut Butter Mousse: (about 10 mins + 3 hrs freezing time)
2/3 cup heavy cream (See note above**)
1 cup Jif Natural Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBS granulated sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
Ganache: (about 5 mins)
1 cup heavy cream (See note above**)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate pearls, raspberries, gold leaf, small candies, etc. for decor (optional)
- For Base, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 16×12″ sheet pan for a thin base or a 9×13″ for thick base and lay down parchment to cover the whole base of the pan. Add chocolate and butter to a large, heatproof bowl. Melt everything together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, then stirring with a spatula, until melted, about 1-2 minutes total. Alternatively, melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water. Set aside once melted.
- Meanwhile, separate egg yolks into a small mixing bowl and the egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, or into a large mixing bowl for your hand mixer or hand whisk. Turn on your mixer to medium until the whites are foamy, then add 1/2 cup sugar to the whites. Turn mixer to high, and beat to soft peaks. Set aside. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is no longer gritty and the sugar has dissolved, leaving the mixture a little lighter in color.
- Add cornstarch to the chocolate-butter mixture and whisk together until homogenous. Add yolk mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Then fold in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture until evenly incorporated and lightened, then add the rest of the whites and fold in until no streaks remain.
- Pour batter into your prepared sheet pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool completely, about 4 hours, overnight ideally. It will be very soft and deflate as it cools.
- Once ready to assemble, cut base shapes to fit the bottom of your mold with a biscuit cutter, knife, etc., and remove (from) parchment. Set aside. Freeze the rest for another time or enjoy as accompaniment to ice cream, or as plain brownies, etc.
- For the Mousse, choose the chocolate or peanut butter option (or do half of each recipe in separate bowls). Place heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to just a boil over medium-high heat. Place chocolate chips OR peanut butter, vanilla, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl . Pour hot cream over the contents of the bowl and let melt, about 1 minute. Whisk everything together until smooth, then let cool about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add whipping cream to the clean bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip to stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the mixture to the chocolate OR peanut butter mixture and fold in to lighten mixture. Add remaining whipped cream and fold in until no streaks remain.
- Spoon the Mousse into your silicone molds and then add the brownie base on top (it’s ok if it doesn’t fit perfectly in one piece). Place in the freezer at least 3 hours, until solid all the way through.
- Just before you’re ready to serve, remove Mousses from freezer and then make the Ganache. Place heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to just a boil over medium high heat. Add chocolate chips to a medium mixing bowl and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit about a minute to melt, then whisk together until smooth. Unmold Mousses onto a baking rack with something underneath to catch ganache, then ladle the ganache over top of each mousse until covered as desired. Top each with a pearl to decorate, let the chocolate set a few minutes, then serve.