Yield: 6 portions
This chocolate mousse recipe is so simple and so delicious that I can almost guarantee it will become your go-to. The chocolate mousse tastes best if you eat it when it’s been refrigerated between 6 and 12 hours. After the 12-hour mark, the mousse becomes heavier and more dense.
In a large heat-resistant bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula.
Meanwhile, wash and dry the bowl of your stand mixer so that it’s spotlessly clean. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice on medium speed until they form soft peaks. Increase to high speed and gradually add the sugar, whisking until the egg whites form soft peaks.
Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the warm chocolate, then immediately use a silicone spatula to fold in the remaining egg whites. This step must be done quickly, since you’re adding a cold mass to a hot mass and you don’t want the chocolate to solidify, which would result in grainy mousse. That’s why it’s important that the egg whites are at room temperature. Be careful not to overmix, or the mousse will lose its lightness.
Spoon into six glasses or ramekins, or into one big bowl, and let set in the fridge for 3 to 12 hours before serving.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.