Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chocolate Mousse 3 ways – 2 with a Crunch


Can chocolate mousse, that decadent & quintessential creamy French dessert, have a crunch? Why yes it can. For fun Meakin decided to create a light and airy dark chocolate mousse but also one that had a bit of crunch. He started with basic chocolate mousse shown above and used it as a springboard to create two more recipes, each more spectacular than the next.

First, to produce a light and airy mousse rather than a thick and creamy one, he very gently folded in the whipped cream into the basic recipe, which creates a bit of air and makes swirls of whipped cream throughout the chocolate. No one will ever mistake this mousse for pudding.




To achieve a bit of crunch, he’s used two different ideas. The first crunchy mousse has ground bits of dark chocolate coated espresso beans incorporated into the mousse itself, plus a few saved for a garnish on the whipped cream. It’s still light and airy, but you can definitely taste the bit of crunch from the chocolate coated espresso beans. Chocolate covered espresso beans can be found in most supermarkets in the produce section or on line.




The second crunchy mousse goes a step further with ground bits of Toblerone dark chocolate, garnished with Grand Marnier whipped cream, and topped with candied orange peel. Toblerone is a rich Swiss chocolate bar with honey & almond nougats that is available in dark chocolate as well as milk chocolate. It’s available in some supermarkets and on line. To make this mousse’s presentation spectacular, it’s served in a brandy snifter.

We like our chocolate dark so we’ve used bittersweet chocolate, but feel free to substitute semisweet if that’s your preference. No matter which chocolate you choose, you can’t go wrong with chocolate mousse as a dessert. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone say no to chocolate mousse.




Basic Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from The New York Times & How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman – serves 6
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (we prefer bittersweet)
3 eggs, separated
¼ cup sugar
½ cup chilled heavy cream
½ teaspoon good vanilla extract

Place a double boiler or small saucepan over low heat and melt butter and chocolate together. Just before chocolate finishes melting, remove pan from the stove and beat chocolate with a wooden spoon until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a bowl and beat in egg yolks with a whisk. Place bowl in the refrigerator while you beat the egg whites.

Beat eggs whites with half the sugar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside while you beat the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla until the whipped cream holds soft peaks.

Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in remaining whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in the whipped cream very gently to keep the mousse light and airy. You want to see a few swirls of the whipped cream in the mouse. Refrigerate or divide among separate cups. It will chill much faster divided. Serve within a day or two of making.




Crunchy Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Coated Espresso Bean Bits
From My Carolina Kitchen – serves 6
Printable Recipe

Basic chocolate mousse recipe (see above)
½ cup or so dark chocolate coated espresso beans
1/3 cup chilled heavy cream

Prepare basic chocolate mousse recipe and set aside in refrigerator to chill until you are ready to serve.

Whirl chocolate covered espresso beans in a mini food processor until chopped but not turned to dust, although some dust in inevitable. Stir in most of the processed beans into the chilled chocolate mousse, leaving a few to sprinkle on top of the whipped cream for garnish. Divide mousse into individual servings.

Beat heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Top mousse with whipped cream and garnish the cream with remaining chopped espresso beans. Serve right away.




Crunchy Chocolate Mousse with Toblerone Dark Chocolate Bits, Grand Marnier Whipped Cream, and Candied Orange Peel
From My Carolina Kitchen – serves 6
Printable Recipe

Basic chocolate mousse recipe (see above)
1 - 3.25 ounce bar Toblerone Swiss pyramid shaped dark chocolate bar wedges
2 tablespoons Grand Mariner orange liqueur, divided
1 navel orange
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chilled heavy cream

Prepare basic chocolate mousse recipe and set aside in refrigerator to chill until you are ready to serve.

Zest orange into strips and add zest and juice from the orange to a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoons Grand Marnier and sugar and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove to a bowl and let cool in refrigerator.

While the orange zest cools, process 5 of the 6 wedges of the Toblerone dark chocolate in a mini food processor until chopped but not turned to dust, although some dust in inevitable.

Add 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier to the chilled cream & beat until it holds soft peaks.

When ready to serve, divide the mousse into individual serving dishes or brandy snifters. Gently stir most of the Toblerone chocolate bits into the chilled chocolate mousse, leaving some bits for garnish. Top with whipped cream, then garnish cream with remaining Toblerone bits and candied orange peel. Serve right away.




For better viewing, click on photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, and Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes.    
Have a great weekend everyone.

37 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful dessert, Sam. The crunch is a clever idea and a great foil for the light and creamy mousse.

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  2. Mmmmhhh, divine! All three look and sound fantastic.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Love the crunch. Smooth and crunchy works for me. Looking forward to seeing you!

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  4. Nothing would please me more than to have even a small taste of any of these delights Sam.

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  5. Your mousse looks wonderful, and I love the idea of serving it with Toblerone bits!

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  6. They both sound wonderful, but the chocolate covered espresso bean one is calling my name.

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  7. Would loved to have been part of the test kitchen when Meakin was devising these scrumptious desserts. I look forward to trying my hand at all three.

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  8. Ah, what is funny is that watch any pastry making show on tv in France or ask any French pastry chef and they will all and always say that every dessert needs both creamy and crunchy. This is perfect and I am so loving the Toblerone and Grand Marnier version! Go, Meakin!

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  9. Chocolate mousse is such a lovely dessert and one of my favorites. Thanks for these recipes Sam. They all look wonderful.

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  10. I think I'll have one of each, just for comparison purposes. :D

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  11. Sam, Wow! What a flavor packed dessert this is! It looks and sounds terrific... Thanks and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  12. I'm a lemon girl, but this would be hard to resist. A lovely presentation Sam. Good job Meakin.

    Madonna

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  13. A very beautiful chocolate dessert, Sam. I love mine with a little crunch. The mousse cups are so pretty.

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  14. Absolutely awesome - chocolate mousse is one of my favorites and I know I would love all three of these. That guy of yours is good.

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  15. You are one lucky lady, Sam! Meakin did such a wonderful job creating all three but my favorite has to include the cordial glass filled with Grand Marnier. What a delicious combination. Tell Meakin, I'm thinking Heath Bar bits for the fourth and third crunchy version :)

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  16. Oh wow! Three ways to make something delicious! Meakin did a fabulous job and I love the idea of adding a bit of crunch and a splash of Grand Marnier!

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  17. They look great Sam! I'd have to sample all three... You know, just to make sure of which one was my favorite:@)

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  18. How divine, Sam! Thanks for sharing. I confess to being partial in a big way to chocolate. I like the fact that this has a crunch and two ways!

    xo

    Sheila :-)

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  19. I have loved chocolate mousse since high school!


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  20. Hi Sam, this looks wonderful, Meakin did a wonderful job creating these variations. Would love to sample them all!!!

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  21. wow these look divine love the crunch and your creativity

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  22. When we try a new place for dinner, I always save room so I can try their chocolate mousse. Love the candied orange one.

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  23. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but I'd really go for the crunch here, it sounds delicious! My family would love it all, mousse is a favorite of theirs. Thanks for the recipes!

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  24. Leave it to a man to create three spectacular chocolate desserts...Love all the toppings, especially the orange peel and Grand Marnier. Chocolate covered coffee beans are a favorite of mine although I have to stay away from them as they keep me up all night. I never know when to stop.

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  25. You had me at the words "chocolate" "mousse" and "crunchy"!!! But wow, when I scrolled down and saw those pictures... I think I need to pick up some toblerone and grand marnier on my way home!

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  26. Decisions, decisions...I guess I'll have to try all three.

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  27. I don't think I could choose which version I like the best. Could I have one of each? Chocoholic heaven!

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  28. i can never do mousse just by itself. I must always have some other texture combo usually crunch so I am loving these two versions!

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  29. Dear Sam, Chocolate mousse is something I simply love. I would enjoy any version you have shown!! Blessings dear. Catherine

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  30. I love chocolate mouse so three different ways sounds good to me!

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  31. it's so hard to decide which one is the best!

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  32. One of my all time favorite desserts. I used to make mousse for my book club all the time. Love your English tea set, I have the same one.. it's classic.

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  33. Oh Sam, I like the chocolate coated espresso beans, and would have a hard time to choose which one I would like to try first...and honestly if I could I would try a spoonful of each one.
    Have a beautiful week :D

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  34. Looks like I'm going to have to try all 3 to make sure.. you know.. just need to investigate this fully. ;)

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  35. Hi Sam,
    I just love your Chocolate Mousse, I want to try one of each please! Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  36. Oh chocolate heaven! I pick toblerone. There's some in my Christmas stoking every year! How does Santa know?

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