Presidential Chocolate Mousse
by Ron Crafts
Founder and Speed Demon
When the Winter Olympics came to Utah in 2002, Culinary Crafts was asked to cater all the major events for the games, including several large galas for the International Olympic Committee, the Salt Lake Olympics Committee, and Sports Illustrated. We had done huge events before, but catering so many all at once would push our resources to the limit. It quickly became apparent that we wouldn’t be able to accept any more event requests until after the games.
Then, one morning in October, we got a call from the White House.
“We would like to book an event,” said the woman on the other end of the line.
Not realizing who she was speaking with, our receptionist explained the situation and apologized. “We can’t take bookings right now, but I’d be happy to refer you to another caterer.”
There was a pause, and then the caller said, “So you don’t want to work for the President?”
“The President of what?”
“The President of the United States.”
We took the job.
That's the ticket!
As it turned out, one of my favorite memories of the games came as we were preparing a meal for the president’s event. That Sunday, one of our chefs called me in a panic because he needed a bottle of Frangelico for a dessert he was making, and he didn’t know where he could find one on such notice with all the Utah liquor stores closed. I told him I thought we had a bottle on the shelf at our facility, and I’d bring it right away.
Twenty minutes later I was driven down I-80 at 140 miles per hour when I was pulled over by the Utah Highway Patrol.
“Do you know how fast you were going?” the officer asked.
“Yes, sir,” I said.
He peered in my window and saw the bottle of Frangelico lying on the floor. “Is that an open bottle of alcohol?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” I admitted. (It was starting to look like I might be in some real trouble.)
“So, what’s the rush?” he asked.
There was nothing to do but tell the truth. “We’re hosting the President of the United States. They need this for dessert.”
Incredibly, he let me go.
It was lucky for me that President Bush was so popular in Utah.
PRESIDENTIAL CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 ½ Tbsp brandy
- 1 ½ Tbsp Frangelico
- 2 eggs, separated
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup brown sugar (divided)
- In a double boiler, melt butter, chocolate chips, brandy, and Frangelico.
- In large mixing bowl, whip heavy cream and 1 oz brown sugar until it forms medium peaks. Set in the refrigerator.
- Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites and 1 oz brown sugar until it forms medium peaks. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, with the reserved egg yolks, slowly pour about 1 Tbsp of chocolate mixture into the yolks while constantly stirring. Continue to slowly add about another 2 Tbsp of chocolate to the yolk mixture. Combine remaining chocolate and yolk mixture. Mix until combined.
- Gently fold in egg whites.
- Gently fold in whipped cream.
- Serve chocolate mousse chilled and garnished with your favorite accoutrements. Berries and tuille cookies are my favorite!