Thursday, October 30, 2014

Silky Smooth Chocolate (and/or) Pumpkin Mousse

While looking for a delicious dessert for a Fall Dinner, I ran across two mousse recipes that I thought would be wonderful "layered" in a 9-oz clear plastic drink cup.  After trying both, I've decided it was unfair to combine them, when each is stellar by itself.

Drink cups (by Solo) are a great substitute for cut glass when you are serving a crowd.  The 9-oz size lines up neatly on a baking sheet for storing in the refrigerator to chill.

Just a few random mini chocolate sprinkles top either mousse off nicely.

The texture of each recipe is smooth and silky.  I filled each cup about 2/3's full.

As you can see, the Pumpkin Mousse didn't make it to photography.  Sorry about that.  But you can still see the texture.

You can layer the two varieties by using a large pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip.  Easy to portion this way.

Other 'garnishes' could include gingersnap or Oreo crumbs, Pirouette Cookies, and whipped cream (dusted with cocoa or cinnamon).

Easy Chocolate Mousse

2 eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
6-8 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

(I used my blender to make this even easier).  Place eggs and sugar in blender and combine on low speed until whipped.  Meanwhile, heat 1-1/4 cups of the cream in the microwave until hot, but not quite boiling (watch carefully, as the boiling point happens in a hurry).  Pour into blender jar gradually while on lowest speed.  

Some people feel the eggs should be cooked thoroughly, although the hot cream does a nice job of doing that.  If you wish, remove from blender to a heavy saucepan and stir over lowest heat possible until the mixture thickens (but do not boil).  At this point, add back to blender jar.

Add the chocolate chips, and blend on low speed until melted.  At this point, you may wish to add vanilla, mint, and/or almond extract for a little extra flavor (depending on your chocolate chips).

Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until cooled.  Don't wait too long, or it will be difficult to combine with the additional cream.

Just before removing chocolate mixture, whip remaining 1-1/4 cups cream in a large, deep bowl.  Fold the chocolate mixture in gently.

If you wish to pipe your mousse into individual servings, chill a few hours until partially set.  Then spoon into pastry bag fitted with large open star tip.  Pipe into about 8 portions.  Garnish as desired, cover, and chill overnight.

Fluffy Pumpkin Mousse

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (*see note)
1 3-oz package cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated)
8-12 oz container non-dairy whipped topping 

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth.  Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and pudding mix until completely mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat again until combined.  Scrape down sides to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Now add non-dairy whipped topping, gently folding in until barely combined.  Do not overmix.  

Allow mixture to remain in refrigerator until partially set (about 1-2 hours).  At this point, spoon into pastry bag fitted with large open star tip.  Pipe into 9-oz cups - should make about 11.  Garnish as desired, cover, and refrigerate until serving.

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