Monday, February 11, 2019

Valentine's Sweets.

For Valentine’s Day, one can never go wrong with chocolate.   I have a decadent dessert for you that gives you a double dose of chocolate – intense bittersweet chocolate mousse in a chocolate filigreed cup.  It’s always a plus when your serving container is edible.

For the chocolate cups:
Ice molds
8 oz. premium bittersweet chocolate (I prefer Ghirardelli.)
1 TB Crisco

To make the chocolate cups, you first need a mold to pipe the chocolate onto.  The easiest way I’ve found is to use ice for the molds.  Simply fill a muffin tin tray with water and freeze.

Melt together chocolate and Crisco in microwave.  Nuke for one minute, then 30 seconds at a time, stirring until melted.  Whenever you melt chocolate, be sure to use a perfectly dry bowl. Any amount of water will make your chocolate “seize,” or clump up and get grainy.  The addition of the shortening ensures a smoother product with a more manageable consistency.  Butter or margarine cannot be substituted for the shortening because both contain water.
Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag with a small piping tip or you can use a plastic bag with tiny snip in the corner for piping. Invert the ice “muffins” onto a work surface and, using a quick back and forth motion, pipe the chocolate over the ice, side to side and up and down, turning the ice, to make a chocolate cup.  Let chocolate set and then gently lift the chocolate off the ice.  While you’re at it, pipe some chocolate hearts as well.  Refrigerate.
For any leftover chocolate, grab some strawberries or pretzels and deliciously dip away!  Refrigerate.

For the chocolate mousse:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped  (Ghirardelli.)
¼ cup strong coffee
3 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
2 eggs, separated
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup cream
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate with coffee and 3 TB sugar in a double boiler.  Add in vanilla and a pink of kosher salt and stir until smooth.

In another bowl, beat yolks until light colored.
Rosie Note:  Whenever you have eggs to beat, whether yolks or whites, you’ll get a better volume if your eggs are at room temperature.

 Beat in a little of the chocolate mixture to temper the yolks, then stir yolk mixture back into the chocolate mixture until well combined. 

Beat whites until stiff peaks form.  Beat in a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Take about 1/3 of the egg whites and stir into chocolate mixture until smooth.  Gently fold in the rest of the whites.

Beat cream until soft peaks form, then add the tablespoon of sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla.

Rosie Note:  Whenever beating cream, it helps to have the both bowl and beaters chilled.  It gives you more beat for your buck. 

Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to assemble, spoon mousse into chocolate cups.  Garnish with sliced strawberries or piped chocolate hearts, if desired.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


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