White Chocolate Mousse

16 Oct

I mentioned yesterday that I made the boyfriend a version of one of his favorite soups after taking a big bad test.  I also wanted to make one of his favorite desserts.

This was hard because he doesn’t eat dessert all that often, and I had to strain my memory to think of what he would really like.  I did remember having a conversation with him ‘best thing I ever ate’ style about desserts, and he brought up a white chocolate mousse we had at Art Café 26 in Williamsburg (awesome, cute little place).  So I decided to attempt to recreate that.

I’ve never made a mousse before, but I looked through a whole lot of recipes for inspiration.  The basic process is simple…melt chocolate, whip it with some sort of fat to keep it from totally solidifying, then stir in whipped cream to keep it fluffy.

Some involve egg yolks, some use gelatin, but I settled on this one mostly because I liked the look of the picture (below).  I liked that the mousse was stiff enough to pipe.

After reading the recipe, I liked it even more.  I had used all the ingredients many times, and the technique was straightforward.

Cream cheese, with white chocolate, keeps the mousse stiff and pipeable but it also tames the sweetness.  I opted to flavor this mousse with almond extract instead of peppermint like in the original, and it tastes like a richer, more decadent version of the cream filling of one of my favorite pies (I haven’t shared that with you guys yet, but best.strawberry.pie.ever.)

Light and fluffy, but creamy, rich, and sweet all at the same time.  So easy, and a perfect little indulgent dessert =]

—-

Usually when recipes say ‘good quality whatever’ I ignore it.  In most cases, generic is just as good as name brand, especially when combined with other flavors.

For this, use good quality white chocolate for two reasons.

1)      White chocolate is the star!  You want it to taste good!

2)      When you have to melt white chocolate, use a better quality brand.  Nestle white chocolate chips just don’t melt that well, unfortunately.

‘good quality’ in this instance was a Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bar.  Not that much fancier than what I usually use.

This mousse is so, so easy to make.  Three steps.

(This doesn’t really count as a step) Bring a sauce pan with about an inch of water to a simmer.  Meanwhile, get all your other ingredients set up…In a large metal/glass bowl add, 1 tablespoon of butter with 3 oz of white chocolate (that’s ¾ of this bar, and 6 tablespoons if you’re using white chocolate chips); get out your heavy cream, powdered sugar, and extract.

1)      Place the large bowl with white chocolate and butter over the simmering water…the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.  It won’t take long for this to melt, but stir it frequently to keep from burning.

Mine melted like a dream!  Once it is just melted, remove from heat, stir well, and set aside and allow to cool.

2)      While your white chocolate cools, beat your whipping cream!  I’m a master whipped cream maker…I’ve been whipping cream for pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving since I was a child.  Mostly because I’m the one that eats it all.  Anyway, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, and add your extract to ½ cup of heavy cream.  Start beating on a lower speed or it will splatter everywhere, but then you can turn it up to turbo speed and your cream will reach stiff peaks within minutes.

This is the ‘just barely not butter stage’.  Give it a taste too…you don’t want it to be sweet, but make sure the amount of extract is where you want it.

3)      Whip your softened cream cheese into your cooled white chocolate.  My cream cheese was softened, but it was still pretty cool (not room temperature), and it blended nice and smoothly into the chocolate just fine.

4)      (okay, I lied. One more step) Gently fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate/cream cheese mixture until well combined.

You can totally serve it as is, but it will be a little soft.  If you want it to look stiff for piping, put your mousse in the fridge for about an hour.

I refrigerated mine in the piping bag.  Which was just a sandwich sized Ziploc bag…because I’m classy like that.  The only problem is that these bags aren’t that sturdy, so if you’re piping anything too thick, just squeeze gently so the filling doesn’t explode out of the sides, okay?

I do have fancy tips though.  Which I’ve used several times and still have to read the instructions to put the assembly together properly.  Do this: (first cut a small hole in the corner of your bag)

Then spoon your mousse into the bag and chill an hour before piping.

I served mine in chocolate cups.  These are simple to make in theory, but it really depends on how skilled you are with melting chocolate.  I’m not very skilled.  I used the microwave and the chocolate never got as liquidy as I wanted, so I spooned it into muffin cups (tin foil recommended so the chocolate won’t stick and the foil will peel away easily), and spread it out as evenly and thinly as I could without making any holes.

Ideally your chocolate would be liquidy, and you can just pour the chocolate in, tilt the cups to cover, then pour out excess.  Let them cool to room temperature, then put them in the fridge to fully harden.

As for how I filled these, just fill the cup up and do some fancy piping on top.  It’s really easy…just google some videos and use whatever technique you like best!

Of course, you could just spoon it right into shot glasses and skip the hassle.  It will taste the same.

—-

White Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from A Food Centric Life
Makes about 1 cup of mousse (4 small servings)
3 oz good quality white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli’s white chocolate baking bar)
1 tablespoon butter
3 oz softened reduced fat cream cheese
½ cup heavy cream
¼ tsp almond extract (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
1 T powdered sugar
Pinch salt

  • In a large bowl on a double boiler, combine white chocolate and butter.  The double boiler is a small saucepan with an inch or so of simmering water.  Place the large bow snuggly on top, but be sure the base of the bowl is not in contact with the water.  Allow the white chocolate and butter to melt and combine, stirring to prevent burning (it only takes a few minutes)
  • Once the chocolate has just melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool
  • While the white chocolate cools, combine heavy cream, extract, powdered sugar, and salt, and beat with an electric mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks
  • Beat together softened cream cheese and cool white chocolate until well combined and smooth
  • Fold whipped cream into white chocolate/cream cheese mixture gently until combined.
  • Serve immediately, or chill for an hour for a stiffer (pipeable) mousse
  • Garnish with shaved chocolate or white chocolate, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, or any combination.
  • Mousse will keep up to three days in an airtight container (plastic bag or tupperware covered with plastic wrap)

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One Response to “White Chocolate Mousse”

  1. vinicooksveg October 16, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Yummy!

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