Monday, January 21, 2013

Dark Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

The inspiration for these came from this pin, which does include a recipe but I decided to use Annie's Eats Dark Chocolate Cake and the Neely's Chocolate Mousse. I topped it with Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Curls

I've made the mousse before, but this time I used a bag of dark chocolate Lindt truffles. I wanted to use high quality chocolate so it would be velvety and heavenly. 

Unfortunately, I over-whipped the cream so it was slightly curdled. Darn it. Whipping cream is like baking cheesecakes and cookies. There is such a fine line between done and over done.

Oh well, texture was ugly but still tasted okay I guess. Kind of disappointing. Nora, don't ever over whip the cream again!

I would use two bags of Lindt (5.1 oz each) because I think the centers are really light and dark chocolate has less fat. 

Also, strain the egg yolk mixture after it is done cooking, rather than after adding the chocolate.

The cake was very dark and pretty. I put it in a 13x9 inch pan and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. It made alot of cake, we have left overs. 

I added only one cup coffee and 3/4 cup buttermilk to the cake batter. I didn't want to water it down too much, and it came out great. 

Actually, I'd say this is a great double for my favorite cake at HEB - the Ivory and Ebony cake. It's a dark chocolate cake and they fill it with white chocolate ganache. This cake would pair wonderfully with a white chocolate mousse.

I only needed to make 6 parfaits but after making the first glass, I realized there was not going to be enough mousse. Thankfully we had some chocolate pudding cups, so I had to add it for more substance. I ate the one without the pudding, but everyone else loved theirs! 

I had the most fun making the chocolate curls. Haha, which is just the garnish but actually they get soft in the parfait and add extra flavor! 

Pioneer Woman has step by step photos on how to make the curls and helpful tips. I wanted to use dark chocolate but opted for semi-sweet because I wasn't sure if dark chocolate would curl. 

My only advice with the chocolate curls: spread the chocolate very very thin! Ree said that too, but I didn't know how thin is thin. I would say paper thin, you should almost see the pan. It curled so much easier than the thicker areas.  

These are my first pictures with my Canon! I know I'm not using it right. I'm sure there is a way to get rid of the glare on the glass. And I suck at taking photos!

Dark Chocolate Cake
Adapted from: Annie's Eats

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2¼ cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2¼ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. brewed coffee*
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350˚ F.  Grease and flour the edges of three 8-inch baking pans, shaking out the excess. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low speed to blend.  Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, coffee, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and mix on low speed until well blended and completely incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans about 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Remove the parchment paper.

Dark Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from: The Neely's

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate by adding to a bowl placed over simmering water and stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Whisk together the egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar, 3/4 cup heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a medium 2-quart curved bottom saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture is thick, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Strain the mixture into a large bowl using a fine mesh sieve and place in the refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled chocolate. Divide the mousse evenly among 4 individual serving dishes and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. Serve with shaved chocolate.

Chocolate Curls
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

3 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate
1 tablespoon crisco shortening

Place chocolate and shortening into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30-45 seconds until shortening is melted and hot. Stir until combined.

Pour onto a cookie sheet or a completely flat surface and spread out very thin, almost paper thin to where you can see the pan through the chocolate. This will make for much better curls. If its too thick, it won't curl.

Place in freezer for three minutes.

Using a metal spatula, turned upside down, begin to scrape the chocolate to form a curl. If the chocolate breaks, it is too cold. Wait a minute or two and then try again. When the chocolate is just the right temperature, it’ll curl instead of break.

Important: as soon as possible, transfer the curls to a cold pan or plate, then stick them in the freezer to harden. Store in the freezer in a Ziploc bag until you need them. Use them to adorn pies, cakes, or platters of fruit.

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