Monday, October 26, 2009

Mousse Filled Chocolate Shells YUM

Your Chocolate Priestess made a second recipe from this book she will be revealing to you all soon, I promise.  This time I also used a potential Sacrament in the process, one from our friends at Astor Chocolate.

I've never made mousse before so I thought this "Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse" recipe would be fun to try. The ingredients list was short as you can see to the left so I thought it would be quick to make.

Wrong!  There are four different stages to making this mousse and each took a bit of time.

First I had to melt the two types of chocolate -- milk and bittersweet -- with sea salt and peanut butter.  I learned a long time ago that you need to melt these on low heat or can burn chocolate easily plus if you have more than one item to mix, slow melting allows you to stir it together more thoroughly.  Also by letting it melt at a lower temperature I find it easier to keep stirring, Sisters and Brothers, just be careful not to let any extra moisture, particularly water, get into the sauce pan or the chocolate will harden.

While I did that, I watched as my skim milk slowly scalded right on the other burner.  Again slow heating is important here or you get milk burnt on the bottom of your sauce pan which I think is a very unpleasant smell.  The recipe didn't specify if I should use whole, skim or another percentage of fat milk but I knew I might be taking a risk in terms of quality using skim.  Once both were done, I transfered it all to a large glass bowl and whisk them until smooth.  Then it had to cool to room temperture which took about an hour.

I didn't know it would take so long so I started beating the heavy whipped cream up with my Kitchenaid mixer.  Here's the silly thing.  The recipe called for 1 cup of heavy cream but the store only had pint sized, which is 2 cups.  So I doubled all of the ingredients for the recipes because I just knew I wouldn't be using heavy cream during a normal week day and I figured I could freeze the left over mousse to have as a frozen dessert later.  Using this mixer made the cream whipping really easy and it didn't take long for the peaks to form.

Then I waited and waited and waited for the chocolate mixture to cool enough, Sisters and Brothers.  I kept stirring it so the heat would dissipate more quickly.  Again, the recipe didn't say this was but even though I've never made mousse, I applied years of cooking logic to make this choice.  We'll see if it worked out.  Once it was cooled I poured the chocolate liquid into the mixer bowl and folded it all together on low for a few minutes.

While the mousse was in the refrigerator cooling and setting for an hour, I got out these chocolate dessert shells I received from Astor.  I've never used this sort of product before but the box said you could use the little chocolate cups for all sorts of things ranging from ice cream to fruit to mousse so I decided to try it with this mousse. 

Even though the box said these were 2.75 inch squares, 1 inch deep, Sisters and Brothers, I didn't realize how big that was until I looked at them.  In total the box held 3oz of chocolate but each shell was very solidly constructed so I had no fears about putting anything in them.  In terms of ingredients, three are listed on the box: chocolate, lecithin and vanilla.  Each shell adds 70 calories, 3g saturated fat, 15mg sodium, 1g fiber, 7g sugars, 1g protein and 2% of your daily iron to each dessert you make so keep this in mind when you prepare and eat.

Once the mousse was set a bit I spooned two bit scoops into each shell and then added some colored jimmies to it.  I think they turned out beautifully.  I returned them to the frig and then the next day my family and some friends tried them.  Everyone loved them.  The shell's chocolate was a different flavor than the mousse and it added a crunch once we all spooned out a good portion of the filling.

I was very pleased with how these Astor Chocolate Dessert Shells worked.  It made even my first mousse attempt look a bit more elegant.  With several major holidays approaching, I could see these used in a variety of ways.  They could become a grave that you put a candy tombstone or bones on top of -- I saw things like that at my local Target recently.  They could become a basket for Thanksgiving samples or a gift box of fruits and candies.  I think only your imagination could limit what you could do with these shells.  Astor also has round dessert shells and liquor cups as well.  You can buy one box or in bulk, bulk is a better price.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.


cemarking said...

That looks soooooo good! Nom nom!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks, cemarking. It was fun to make and eat and everyone who had it seemed to like it.

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