Well, I couldn’t very well give you a big list of Valentine’s recipes and not include at least one chocolate item. But after the macarons, I figured you didn’t want something else super involved. So this is not traditional chocolate mousse. It’s faster. And easier. And spicier.
Plus it involves marshmallows, which is always a winner in my book. But (sadly), this isn’t s’mores mousse. You don’t taste the marshmallows. And even though I added some cinnamon and ground ancho chili pepper to spice it up a bit, you won’t burn your mouth. It’s pretty subtle.
You don’t want to use regular chili powder here — that usually has cumin and salt and other stuff in it that you probably don’t want in your mousse. Check out the ingredients list and look for something that is basically just ground chilies.
I feel obligated to tell you that the only time I recall having chocolate mousse, other than this, is at Epcot Center. It was excellent, though. If you’re ever there, you should definitely try it. After going to the Magic Kingdom and having a pineapple float, obviously.
I also feel obligated to tell you I am watching “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” right now. You know, to get in the holiday spirit.
If you want to leave out the chili and cinnamon, that’s fine. It will still be delicious. But why not spice things up a bit? It is Valentine’s Day, after all.
Spicy chocolate mousse (Serves 2-3, adapted from Nigella)
1 3/4 cups (75 grams) mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (125 grams) bittersweet chocolate (right around 60% cocoa is perfect)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) hot water
scant 1 2/3 cup (142 mL) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Boil some water and then remove from heat. (You can make tea with some of the water, just make sure you have a little plain water leftover)
Place marshmallows, butter and chocolate in a small heavy saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of the just-boiled water. Put the saucepan on the stove on low heat.
Allow the marshmallow-chocolate mixture to melt, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and chili pepper*.
Once the marshmallow-chocolate mixture is melted and smooth, remove it from heat and allow to cool slightly (like 5 minutes). Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until everything is well mixed and smooth.
Pour the mousse into champagne flutes, martini glasses or small ramekins and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Top with additional whipped cream, fresh berries or chocolate shavings, if desired.
*You can add the spices to the chocolate mixture after it has melted, if you prefer. It doesn’t really matter.