Mayan Chocolate Mousse
This decadent, spiced chocolate mousse is the perfect treat to woo your sweetheart on Valentine's Day. The recipe comes from the owner of one of my favorite chocolate shops in the country, Chocolopolis (if you're ever in Seattle, you MUST go visit!). The mousse stands out because it's loaded with allspice: When you're making it, be sure not to crush the allspice berries. Keeping them whole ensures a silky texture. Also leave yourself enough time, since the mousse needs to set for about six hours before you serve it.
Recipe from Lauren Adler, Chief Chocophile and the Chocolopolis team
1. TO MAKE THE MOUSSE. combine the cream and allspice berries in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the cream around the edge of the saucepan begins to boil.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Cover the top of the pan tightly with plastic wrap to hold in the flavorful vapors of the allspice.
Set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavors infuse.
Then remove the plastic wrap and fish out the allspice berries.
Combine the butter and chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave at high power for 30 seconds. Check to see if they have melted. If not, microwave in intervals of 10 seconds until they are melted.
Add the cream to the melted chocolate and mix well.
Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. Set the whites in the refrigerator to keep them chilled.
Whip the egg yolks into the chocolate and cream mixture until they’re just incorporated.
With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Add the ultrafine sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Dish the mousse into six ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
2. IMMEDIATELY BEFORE SERVING, MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM.
Combine the whipping cream with the sugar and vanilla in a bowl. With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip or you’ll end up with a butterlike consistency.
Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the ramekins.
Garnish with a sprinkle of allspice or black pepper.