CHILE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

mousse.jpg

I am not much of a dessert person, and when I do make desserts, I usually follow recipes pretty religiously because I am a bit out of my comfort zone.  But while making a dessert for a close friend of mine’s birthday, who is also just “so-so” on sweets, I created this delicious slightly spicy chocolate mousse to finish out our Mexican inspired dinner.

  • 4 to 5 Ancho Chiles
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream, divided use
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 4 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, divided use
  • 2 Tablespoons Kalhua (optional)
  • Salt

Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho chiles.  Lightly toast the chiles by pressing them on an ungreased pan over medium heat with a spatula, flipping once or twice to toast both sides.  Place the chiles in a bowl and submerge in water for 20 minutes.  Using tongs, transfer the chiles to a blender with 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid.  Blend until it makes a smooth sauce.  This may take a couple of minutes.  Strain through a medium mesh strainer to remove the larger hunks of skin.

Heat 3/4 cup of cream in a small to medium pot until hot.  Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt, and slowly incorporate the hot cream, whisking constantly.  Transfer mixture to the pot and cook over low-medium heat.  Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of chile mixture, depending on how spicy you would like your mousse to be.  Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and holds it’s shape when you wipe your finger off the back of a spoon.  Pour the custard through a strainer, and add the vanilla and Kahlua.

Shave bittersweet chocolate with a knife.  Put aside about .5 oz for garnish.  Melt the remaining 3.5 oz over a bain-marie.  Whisk the custard into the chocolate and then cool.  Beat the remaining 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Whisk one fourth of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.  Then gently stir the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture (I still use a whisk for this, to mix very evenly.  But if you are an excellent folder, then by all means–fold!).  Divide the mousse into six to eight stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, for at least four to six hours.

Serve with fresh made whipped cream, and sprinkled with reserved chocolate shavings.

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