Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

Father’s Day was almost a week ago and its taken me this long to get this going. Mostly because I misplaced the recipe. These things happen and I’m able to share it now. Full disclosure that a few years back, I did attempt to make Chocolate Mousse and it was a failure to say the least. Something along the lines of a chocolate liquid. Although, apparently, it still was a delicious chocolate-y drink. With more kitchen tools and more experience, we decided to give this a second shot and with a new recipe.

This time, I’m working with Food Network Magazine’s Chocolate Lover’s Handbook, called Chocolate-Chestnut Mousse but modified it to not use chestnut puree. We did end up using a replacement for it to give it a thicker consistency. We used a roasted nut chocolate spread and it worked really well. Here’s how it look. (Sorry for bad presentation)

Chocolate Mousse

Serves: 4 (halved from the original 8)

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate spread
1/8 tsp pure almond extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 cup heavy cream

  1. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted, about 2 minutes. Blend the chocolate spread, almond extract, salt and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in half of the melted chocolate.
  2. Beat the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Fold one-quarter of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate spread mixture, then fold in the rest. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Divide the mousse among dessert glasses. Top with the reserved whipped cream. Remelt the remaining chocolate in the microwave, if necessary, then drizzle on top.

Surprisingly, chocolate mousse is pretty easy to make, although very hard to get the right consistency. This recipe worked really well. I’d venture to say that if you don’t have fancy chocolate spread that Nutella might work also or peanut butter even. It probably would still have similar results. I did this one the night before I had to go over to my in-laws and bring this over and that also helps. However, ours didn’t have the drizzle because I did make a mistake and put too much confectioners’ sugar so had probably instead of the 1 tablespoon for the whipped cream mix, I had two because I read it wrong.

Of course, if you do want to do the actual recipe, it serves 8. Double all the ingredients from the list above and replace the chocolate spread with chestnut puree.

Despite the mistake in the ingredients, I think not putting the drizzle worked to balance the taste. My in-laws liked it a lot and said the sweetness was just enough. My husband also liked it a lot. Unfortunately, because of the heavy cream and the semi-sweet chocolate, it had milk so I couldn’t try it out for myself.

Have you made Chocolate Mousse? What recipe do you use?

Christmas Baking: Shortbread!

Okay, Christmas is over but well, seeing as today is Boxing Day, I figured its not totally inappropriate to still use this title 😉 The final baked goods I made for Christmas was shortbread.

I am horrible at shortbread but every single time I do this, I change how I approach it a little and how that it’ll turn out better. This time, the taste was pretty spot on.  The cookies did not turn out how I wanted them to look though.  Hmm…I need to figure that part out. Here they are!

Shortbread

Shortbread!

The recipe is from Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook.

SHORTBREAD

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon almond extract, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon.  Stir in flour and almond extract.  (If dough is crumbly, mix in additional 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened.)

2. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares with knife or cut with 1 1/2 inch cookie cutters.  On ungreased cookie sheet, place squares or shapes about 1 inch apart.

3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely about 30 minutes.

IMG_4613

Lets start with modifications.  I used vanilla extract instead of almond extract.  Which comes to the point that I could have done brown sugar shortbread by replacing the sugar with brown sugar but I didn’t read that far until after I poured the sugar in.  What could I say? Next time, right?

Regardless, I pulled out my new bite size cookie cutters that my mom bought for me in Hong Kong on her last trip, thats why its not completely Christmas theme but there was teddy bears and stars.  I do have to say, this is the most impressive batch I’ve made which makes this pretty sad.

The taste was very delicious: a nice balance between buttery and sweetness.  It was crumbly and melted in my mouth.  I loved it! Like I said, I’m quite proud of the taste.  Only thing I need to work on is the appearance. 🙂

I still have some potluck baking in a few days so I have more baking and cooking going up.  It’ll be a fun final run to bring in 2014. So come back for more, k?

Hope all of you had a great Christmas celebrations and enjoy the boxing day sales! 🙂