Monday, February 25, 2008

Chocolate Mousse with Orange Mascarpone Whipped Cream

So last night was the Oscars. One of my favorite shows to watch since I was a little girl. Life though has been so busy and for various reasons I literally only saw one of the movies that had a nomination. But tradition is that I must watch this show. So we had two friends over, the kind of friends that you don't have to dress up for, that can cook in your kitchen and find your silverware drawer and eat your Pretzel Bites and your okay with that (well maybe, Pretzel Bites are almost sacred in our household). With that said I quickly took inventory of what I had at home and made a run to Trader Joes for all the fun foods, salami, sopresseta, provolone, goat and asiago cheese, shrimp, cocktail sauce, and smoked salmon.

As everything was pretty much just layout on a plate I decided to make one thing from scratch. So having just watched an episode of Giada's Italian Kitchen on the Food Network I thought I'd make this Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse with an Orange Mascarpone Whipped Cream. Truly this was a treat. The mousse was rich and decadent, super creamy, and the orange mascarpone whipped cream was cool and refreshing. Chocolate and Orange are a super combination, they always seem to enhance the flavor in each other. My friend literally said, "Wow," through every bite she took.

Here's the recipe I followed from

1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large egg whites

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest

For the Mousse: In a small saucepan over medium heat stir together the milk with the sugar and the espresso powder until the milk is hot, but not boiling, and the sugar is dissolved. Place the chocolate chips in a blender.

*Pour the hot milk over the chips. Run the blender on high until combined, a few seconds. Add the egg whites and run the blender on high until light, about 1 minute. Transfer the mousse to 4 small serving cups. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm, about 3 hours.

For the Cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the
mascarpone cheese and the orange juice until smooth. Add the cream,
powdered sugar, and orange zest. Whip until the cream has soft peaks, about 1 minute. Whip the cream just before serving the mousse or cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

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