Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Chocolate is good. Hazelnuts are good. Rum in desserts is good. Sugar and vanilla are good. Cream cheese is good. Heavy cream is good. Now, take a guess at what combing them all together is?
"Pretty awesomely good" would be a correct response, and this chocolate mousse recipe makes a sweet, light, airy, filling, and decadently chocolate recipe, which has just enough crunch in it from the chopped hazelnuts to give it some real substance. Adding on whipped cream only completes the picture (although it stands just fine on its own as well). There's something about the richness of the combination of the ingredients that makes it seductively good. Although, at the same time, it also manages to be refreshing and cool.
It is also a dish that is made quite quickly, as all that is needed is to melt chocolate, combine in some other ingredients, pour into bowls, and let chill. It can take a while to prepare the hazelnuts, however. Preferably, these are first shelled and then baked in an oven at 275 degrees F for 20–30 minutes, to remove the skins easily. They can either be chopped in a blender or food processor or if one prefers a less fine result, by hand. I preferred the latter. The recipe is very easy to modify: I like mine sweet, but it is fully possible to instead substitute bitter chocolate instead of sweet chocolate.
This recipe is adapted from Dungeness Crabs and Blackberry Cobbler by Janie Hibler.
- 8 oz milk chocolate
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup light rum or hazelnut liqueur
- 1 pint heavy cream, beaten until stiff
- candied violets and fresh mint leaves, (OPTIONAL) garnish
- additional whipped cream, (OPTIONAL) heavenly flavor enhancer
- Melt the chocolate in a heavy saucepan, slowly. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water, to form a paste, again slowly. Be careful to not let it burn.
- Blend together the vanilla, remaining water (3 tablespoons), and the sugar in a bowl, then add it into the chocolate mixture and stir in.
- Bring this to a boil over low heat, and then proceed to remove from heat and fold into it the cream cheese, chopped hazelnuts, and the rum or hazelnut liqueur. Allow this to cool.
- Beat the cream until stiff, and then fold it into the chocolate mixture. Then divide the mousse into serving bowls, and allow it to chill for at least several hours, during which time period it will thicken substantially. If desired, decorate these bowls with candied violets and fresh mint leaves before serving, or additional whipped cream.
© 2017 Ryan Thomas