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Valentine' Day Nevada Style: Chocolate Mousse

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When it comes to the realm of desserts, there are two which are favorites worldwide. They are cheesecake ( the baked variety) and the classic French dessert of chocolate mousse. There are actually two types of mousses - frozen and fresh (albeit both are indeed fresh). This particular chocolate mousse is of the frozen variety and very easy to prepare at home.

A mousse is a dessert laden with richness. It features the yolks of eggs and the smoothness of fresh heavy cream. For a rich dessert it is also light, this thanks to the folding in of stiffly whipped egg whites. And then you have the flavor agent... chocolate! For a proper mousse you want to use only high quality dark chocolate (70 - 80% cocoa).

There are many ways to present the mousse. The two most common are surrounded with the cookie known as Ladyfingers or with slices of pound cake. For this recipe we are using pound cake as Ladyfingers are not that easy to find in the market.

About an hour before you plan to serve this chocolate mousse, you want to remove it from the freezer. This will give the mousse a more creamy texture and allow all the flavors to envelope you tongue.

Ingredients needed to make Chocolate Mousse (serves 4):

  • 1 pound cake, sliced to fit the perimeter of the mold
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 egg, separated
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs. powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

Steps:

  1. Lightly oil the sides of a Charlotte mold (or a souffle dish). Line the bottom with parchment paper. Line the sides of the mold with slices of pound cake.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat combine the chocolate and water and stir until the chocolate has melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the nuts.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  5. Stir the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until well blended.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate.
  7. In a medium bowl whisk 1 cup whipping cream until hard peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate.
  8. Fill the prepared mold with the chocolate mousse, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until it has set.
  9. In a medium bowl whisk the remaining whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until hard peaks form.
  10. Remove the chocolate mousse from the freezer, dollop with the whipped cream and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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