Monday, December 21, 2009

What's for dessert?

We had a few friends over for dinner tonight. Nothing special, just conversation and snowball fights, when the subject of dessert came up. As in, "What's for dessert?"

I hadn't planned for dessert. However, being fearless in the kitchen, I tossed out "How about chocolate cream pie or maybe chocolate mousse?" I got a table full of head nods...

I've never made a chocolate mousse before. I mean, sure, I've seen it done. I know the basic concept. Heck, Alton Brown can do it. Why not?

So, while the teens went out to play in the snow, I hopped onto the Internet to look up recipes since Joy of Cooking was rather sparse in the mousse department. Ah, well. Seven web sites and ten recipes later, I didn't find anything that I thought would work for my available time and ingredients. So, I decided to craft my own.

Here it is:

Quick and Rich Chocolate Mousse
Total prep time, 30 minutes

12 ounces Heavy Whipping cream
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Butter
4 oz Dark Chocolate (70% or greater), shaved, ground, or chopped into small pieces.
4 oz Toll house morsels (or you can just use 8 oz of Toll house morsels instead)
2 Large eggs, separated into whites and yolks
2 Tbsp Amaretto
Rounded 1/4c finely granulated sugar
scant ¼ tsp cream of tartar

Nested mixing bowls for an ice bath

Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until they form soft peaks, then gradually add sugar, while continuing to whip, until thoroughly incorporated and mixture forms stiff peaks and has a glossy sheen.

In Medium saucepan over medium heat, Heat one half of the cream, the salt, and the vanilla to a simmer. Add the chocolate and butter into it and whisk thoroughly until chocolate is melted. DO NOT BOIL. Immediately remove from heat and whisk the egg yolks one at a time into the mixture, blending completely before adding the next. Add Amaretto and mix thoroughly, and then transfer to a mixing bowl floating in an ice bath. Whip using electric hand mixer while adding remaining cream until all cream is added and chocolate mixture forms firm peaks and valleys.

Gently fold whites into chocolate until no streaks are visible, and then chill for 2 hours, covered, before serving.

Serve in martini glass topped with whatever suits your fancy.
4 ounces Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Whip together until stiff peaks form and top mousse with it.

This dessert is very rich. Depending on your tolerance for decadence, this recipe will yield anywhere from one to twelve servings. :)

The only problem I had with the recipe was that it never made it into the 'fridge to chill. It was GONE as soon as it hit the serving glasses. Hopefully yours will last a little longer. Or not. Enjoy!



EDIT: Daughter corrects me and says that the mousse was Sharon's idea (a friend), not mine...oh, well. It still rocked. :)

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