It’s Fat Tuesday! Now, I LOVE southern food but, all I’d had running through my mind the last week or so was – Chocolate. I’ve never really craved chocolate before but, I get these sudden pangs of desire so strong that I have to do something to satiate them.
Growing up, all I’d ever want were strawberries or something pink. Be it an ice cream sundae, cake, jam, just about anything that could have strawberries in it. And as I got into my 20s, that slowly changed and I found love for anything sweet! I’m still not a very big fan of chocolate ice cream and will most probably pick that last if I had a choice of ice creams. Actually, that holds true for just about any dessert, I’d probably pick the chocolate dessert last, unless I was in one of my current chocolate-lovin’ moods.
I know I probably have made a million people go, ‘what is wrong with this person?’ but, hey, someone’s gotta give a lot of love to the other desserts out there, too, right? Well, I think so
Last week, though, I had to hunt my chocolate desserts down since nothing else would satisfy. So, I made chocolate mousse. And I wanted something more with that, so I threw in some brandied cherries and nearly died with how rich and decadent that whole thing was. I couldn’t get enough! The mousse tastes terrific with fresh strawberries too, because that’s how I ate them after the brandied cherries were happily in my tummy. It tasted just like chocolate-covered strawberries. Oh. so. divine!
Chocolate Mousse with Brandied Cherries
(adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe on Food Network)
Ingredients and instructions:
For the mousse:
- 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
- 6 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks cut up
- 3 ounces espresso or strong coffee
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin
For the cherries:
- 1 tin of dark cherries
- 6 tablespoons of brandy or cognac
Prepare the cherries first. Empty out the cherries alone in a bowl with a couple of teaspoons of the juice as well (you can save the remaining juice for another dish or drink it all up, like I did).
Add the brandy or cognac and mix well. Make sure all the cherries are immersed in the brandy. Cover and put it away in the fridge to soak while you prepare the mousse.
For the mousse: Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.
In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.
Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to “bloom” for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.
When you’re ready to serve, spoon a few of the brandied cherries and a little liquid in a bowl or martini glass. Spoon some of the luscious mousse on top and chill for at least 1 hour.
(If mousses are to be refrigerated overnight, chill for one hour and then cover each with plastic wrap)