A make ahead dessert.
That’s fancy enough to entertain with.
The holy grail of desserts? Sure is! Cheat’s Chocolate Mousse Pots with crunchy chocolate biscuit crumbs and tangy freeze-dried plums.
I have a little obsession with second hand cookbooks. I have shelves of cookbooks and I am proud to say that I have only paid full price for three: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cuisine, Martha Stewart’s American Food and Molly Yeh’s Molly on the Range (I know, an it’s an eclectic mix). When I was pregnant with my second son Harry, who’s now almost two, I bought a big stack of five Nigella Lawson cookbooks for $10 each. It was in my last trimester so I was even more OBSESSED with food than I normally am (hence the 21kg/46lb love handles I gained). So once I got these books I read them cover to cover (as you can with Nigella) and drooled over all the food. The best bit? As a pregnant lady I was beyond excited to find a recipe for chocolate mousse without any raw eggs. I HAD to make it.
It was so easy. It was decadent. It was silky. It was rich. It was utter mousse heaven but without the raw eggs and better yet it was FOOLPROOF! Have you ever tried making chocolate mousse? Has it gone completely gritty and greasy on you because you were impatient and didn’t want to wait for the melted chocolate to cool before adding the eggs. Just me? I never learn. Hence I love this cheat’s version. Foolproof.
Now these Cheat’s Chocolate Mousse Pots are seriously good by themselves but want to make them even better? Add some crunch with Momofuku Milk Bar’s chocolate biscuit crumb. These are chocolately, crunchy, slightly salty little crumbs that add some delicious contrast to the silky mousse. These can be made ahead and even stored up to one month in your freezer. The recipe makes far more than you’ll need for the mousse pots so store them in the freezer to top on your next batch of mousse, ice cream, or sprinkled over your favourite chocolate cake. The biscuit crumbs are pretty much foolproof too, just be sure not to overcook them because you won’t be able to tell that they’re burnt because the crumbs are already dark brown. They will be soft when they come out of the oven then will harden as they cool.
Then, because we have some leftover freeze dried plums (or maybe your have some freeze-dried raspberries lurking in your pantry, or any freeze-dried fruit come to think of it) we’re going to sprinkle a few of these on top for some delicious crunchy tang. If you don’t have any freeze-dried fruit go get some because it’s amazing, only joking, just top the pots with any fresh fruit of your choice. A little crunchy coconut is also nice.
Don’t forget a big dollop of cream (or creme fraiche or mascarpone) and we’re done. The perfect low stress, crowd pleasing, did I mention foolproof, make ahead dessert.
P.S. This mousse is pretty darn awesome and it’s tempting to serve up a massive portion to everyone but it is rich so WARNING a little goes a long way!
Cheat's Chocolate Mousse Pots
Instant Chocolate Mousse:
- 150 g/5.3oz mini marshmallows, any colour
- 50 g/1.8oz butter, softened
- 250 g/8.8oz dark chocolate, 70 percent solids, minimum, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp liquid cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Biscuit Crumb:
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 90 g/3oz butter, melted
- sprinkling of freeze-dried plums
- whipped cream, creme fraiche or mascarpone
Instant Chocolate Mousse:
Place marshmallows, butter, chocolate and hot water in a large heavy based saucepan.
Heat over low heat, stirring regularly to ensure the mixture doesn’t catch and burn on the bottom, until all ingredients are melted and mixture is smooth and combined.
Remove from heat and set aside. Don’t worry if it looks as though your mixture has split, let it rest for 5-10 min then give it a good mix and it should come together into a smooth consistency.
In a separate bowl, whip cream and vanilla until thick.
When chocolate mixture is around body temperature (check with a clean finger), gently fold in the whipped cream. You don’t want the chocolate mixture too hot or the cream will melt and the mousse will become a greasy mess that will need to be thrown out.
Pour into 4-6 individual serving dishes or one large bowl and place in the fridge until ready to serve. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Can be made a day ahead, covered in cling film and stored in the the refrigerator (without the crumb) for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Biscuit Crumb:
Preheat oven to 150C/300F.
Combine flour, corn starch, sugar, cocoa and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix over low speed. Add melted butter and continue mixing until mixture starts to come together in clumps.
Spread mixture over a baking tray lined with baking (parchment) paper or a Silpat. Bake for 20 min occasionally breaking up the larger clusters as it bakes.
The mixture will initially be soft when it comes out of the oven but will harden as it cools.
Allow to cool completely on the tray before using.
Can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
Sprinkle chocolate crumb over mousse and crumble over a little freeze-dried fruit before serving. Also nice with a dollop of cream or mascarpone.
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