Alexandria · Baking · Uncategorized

Classic Chocolate Mousse in Mini Cocottes


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

6 Servings

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  • 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.

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This recipe calls for yet another excuse to pull out rarely used equipment such as the espresso machine.

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.

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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.

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The serving size of these is more like two servings, not one as it would be in a ramekin.

Before serving, whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; dollop over mousse.

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Cooking

Mac & Four Cheese Gratin with Truffle Oil in Le Creuset’s Mini Cocottes


I’ve been eyeing these beauties for years–these Le Creuset mini cocottes in red. (These are the enameled iron one’s, not the pottery versions). Perhaps I’ve been drawn to these beauties because of their diminutive size, or maybe it’s because of their name–cocotte. You do know what a cocotte is, right? Yes, one definition is ‘a shallow baking dish,’ but the other? Look it up. Meanings aside, it’s their impracticality that makes them so appealing to me–perfect for a Valentine’s Day meal.

What can you possibly make in these mini Dutch ovens, you may ask? The possibilities are endless. I imagine adorable little pot pies, souffles, soups, appetizers…and Mac & Cheese!

I chose to make Mac & Cheese in an attempt to recreate one of my favorite dishes from Cheesetique in Alexandria. This is definitely not low-calorie, but come on, Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year, so I splurged.

Macaroni and Four Cheese Gratin with Truffle Oil

Adapted from Le Creuset’s Mac & Cheese Recipe

This recipe serves 4, but I only have two mini cocottes, so I put the remaining mac and cheese in a small Le Creuset baker.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 oz winter durum wheat macaroni
  • 1 oz (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 tbl
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz Gorgonzola
  • 2 oz Fontina
  • 2 oz Marscarpone
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • Truffle oil, to taste (I drizzled a teaspoon or so on each mini)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tip: Cheeses with higher fat content melt better than those that with a lower one! So combine your favorites: creamy Fontina, Gorgonzola, buffalo mozzarella, Parmigano Reggiano.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 2 mini cocottes (and the small baker, or ramekins) .
  2. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes; it should be al dente; not entirely cooked.  Pass the pasta under cold running water to stop them from cooking.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low flame. Add the cream, the Gorgonzola,
    the Fontina, the Marscarpone and the Parmigiano Reggiano (reserving 4
    tablespoons for the top). Stir the cheese until all are well melted. Add salt and
    freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. In a separate pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Once it’s melted, add the panko or breadcrumbs to lightly coat.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and divide into 2 mini-cocottes and baker dish. Sprinkle the
    rest of the Parmigiano Reggiano over each cocotte along with a little bit of panko or breadcrumbs to your liking. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and crusty looking. On taking them out of the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle a little bit of truffle oil on each, to taste.