Semi Sweet Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse (Serves 2-4)

16 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
4 eggs, separated yolk and whites
1 quart heavy whipping cream
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Optional: the zest and juice of one orange


In a double boiler, melt chocolate with Grand Marnier (optional: and the zest and juice of one orange). Temper 4 egg yolks and add to the chocolate. Make sure chocolate is not so hot that it cooks the eggs. Whisk together and set aside to cool. In a chilled bowl, use a hand blender and whip the cream until soft peaks form. Set aside. In a separate, clean bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the egg whites to stabilize and firm up the egg white foam. To help ensure success, clean the blender of any traces of whipped cream before whipping the egg white. Any fat from the cream or egg yolks contaminating the egg whites will prevent them from whipping. Gently fold (DO NOT to mix) the melted chocolate into the egg whites until the color is consistent. Gently fold the chocolate-egg white mixture with the whipped cream until it is one uniform color. Put in the refrigerator to chill and firm up before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint.