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Mocha Mousse with Sichuan Peppercorns (Mousse au Moka et Poivre)

['1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns', '1/3 cup heavy cream', '1 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee beans', '4 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped', '3 large egg whites', '1 tablespoon sugar', 'Equipment: a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee/spice grinder; 4 (4- to 5-ounces) serving glasses or ramekins', '4 (4- to 5-ounces) serving glasses or ramekins', 'Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream']

Grind peppercorns with mortar and pestle.
Bring cream, coffee, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, 30 minutes. Strain cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.
Melt chocolate in a large bowl. Stir in cream. Cool slightly.
Beat egg whites with sugar using an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture gently but thoroughly.
Spoon mousse into glasses and chill at least 3 hours.

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