Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dark chocolate espresso mousse with coffee zabaglione

The title is a mouthful and you'll be happy when you get a mouthful of this. I'm not supposed to play favorites, but this was my favorite part of all of the competition recipes (and you can tell I liked all of them and really loved some others). The kids really enjoyed this one, too and most were surprised they liked dark chocolate so much. It takes more time than stirring up a boxed cake mix and tossing it in the oven, but it's so worth the extra effort. You can easily divide into steps and have it prepared ahead of time. Do yourself a favor and indulge in this sometime soon!

Dark chocolate espresso mousse with coffee zabaglione

Serves 4

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 cup Ghirardelli espresso dark chocolate (use bittersweet chocolate if you can't find this)
1 large egg white

1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
1/8 tsp sugar
1/3 cup hot water
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup half and half

Whipped Cream:
use cool whip or hand whip 1/2 cup cream with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp honey

4 chocolate hazelnut straws ("pirouettes")

Chop two hazelnut straws into 1/2 inch long pieces.

Put chocolate in a heat resistant bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cream, sugar, and espresso powder until the sugar is dissolved and the cream mixture is hot, but not boiling. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and blend until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Add the egg white and beat for one to two minutes, until thick. Stir in the chopped hazelnut straws. Transfer the mousse to serving glasses and put them in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about two hours. (can leave overnight)

Combine water and espresso powder and set aside.

Set up a double boiler. In a metal bowl, combine egg yolk, egg, sugar, 2 Tbsp of espresso (from the water/powder combination), heavy cream, and half and half. It should become frothy. Continue whisking until it reaches a batter consistency.

Transfer the bowl of zabaglione to a bed of ice to let the zabaglione cool and set. Stir periodically to keep a smooth consistency. Once zabaglione is cool, place in refrigerator.

After mousse has set, top with zabaglione and return to refrigerator. Allow to set for thirty minutes. Top with whipped cream and garnish with hazelnut straw. Return to refrigerator until ready to serve.

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