I’ve been a lazy, slothful blogger again despite already having this post ready to go since Valentine’s Day. I’m not a big mousse fan, but these little, easy beauties provided me with an excuse to pull out my utterly useless, yet adorable Le Creuset mini cocottes. It’s amazing what little you can do with them, so any opportunity is cause for celebration. This can be made ahead a few days in advance and then dressed up just before serving. I served mine with a dollop od whipped cream with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and fresh strawberries.
Classic Chocolate Mousse
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup espresso, room temperature
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
6 oz. semisweet chocolate (61-72% cacao), chopped
2 large egg whites
Beat 1/2 cup cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover and chill.
Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a large metal bowl. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees, about 1 minute.
Remove bowl from pan. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl on medium speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form.
Fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions; folded whipped cream into mixture just to blend.
Divide mousse among ramekins or mini cocottes. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. Do Ahead: Mousse can be made a few days ahead; cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Before serving, whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; dollop over mousse.
I’ve been living without a functioning kitchen now for over FOUR months now. This means no cooking and no creative outlet. Since I cannot bake or cook or do much else creatively speaking (because everything is on its way from Jordan and isn’t set to arrive for months), and given that I’m at home from work due to the storm, I searched through my pictures of Halloween’s past to reminisce about the beautiful cookies that I could have been baking and decorating if I had a full larder and was equipped with my cookie making supplies.
In case you’re inspired enough to want to bake, here’s the recipe for the cookies and the icing:
No Fail Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven thirty minutes before you begin. (This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so I usually cut the recipe in half or save half of it to freeze and use later.)
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
1 tsp. salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little
at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.
Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)
Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350
degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe
can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.
HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess – Rather than wait for your cookie dough to
chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.
Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.
Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the
first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus
is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.
Makes 3 cups of base consistency icing
3 3/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 T meringue powder
6 T warm water
Beat 4 to 5 minutes
By hand, stir in optional flavorings and desired tints.
Add 8 T of warm water if you want flow consistency.