You had me at “brownie.” Plus chocolate mousse as a topper doesn’t hurt! Week 49: Chocolate Mousse & Brownie Towers
Happy December, everyone! Did you all remember to change your calendars? There’s something bittersweet about turning over to the last page in a calendar – you don’t want the year to leave, but the concept of finishing up a whole year of pages is so satisfying.
I made pretty thick layers for the brownie and one of the mousse flavors, and so compensated by making only a small layer of my second-favorite mousse flavor. Now, I could’ve gone all leaning-tower-of-Pisa on these mousse stacks, but they would’ve been hard to eat. . . It’s like when someone orders a third scoop of ice cream, teetering on top of a cone,. Some people just need that sense of danger in their desserts. Alas, not me today.
This is another bake that I completed outside my own kitchen. Talk about feeling lost! You think you’re smart until you try to cook in someone else’s kitchen. I’ve never needed the “Accio” summoning charm more!
I decided to use up some of my bittersweet baking squares in this one to give it more depth. Also, what else does one do with just one ounce of baking chocolate? Actually, the possibilities are endless.. wait, let me jump out of this rabbit hole and back into this bake.
Is that whipping cream box adorable? Trader Joe’s had whipping cream that can sit un-refrigerated in your pantry. Like magic. Pasteurization is a strange and wonderful thing. My understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) is that the dairy product is sealed in a sterile container and then raised to such a high temperature that all of the bad bacteria is killed off. Since the container is sealed, no new ones can get in.
Confession time: growing up, brownies were the one dessert my mom and I made from a box mix instead of from scratch. The Ghiradelli mix is just. So. Good. It’s hard to resist. But now that I live in my own apartment and Costco-sized boxes of brownie mix aren’t always in my pantry, I must make my own. It’s one of those happy recipes where you already have all of the ingredients on hand. Getting back to the basics here!
The two elements to mousse: whipped cream (soft peaks) and flavoring (milk chocolate/peanut butter for layer #1 and dark chocolate/mint for layer #2). How can it be that simple?? I’ve been avoiding making mousse for the mere fact that it sounds hard. Ladies and gentlemen, do not make my mistakes. Don’t be afraid of things because they sound hard! You will feel silly when you realize how easy they are. (Except for creme patisserie. I will forever be afraid of making pastry cream. It just won’t thicken!!)
Caught in the act of using the microwave to melt my chocolate chips for the mousse.
A little foil, a few paper clips, and voila! We have ourselves a cylindrical form to keep the mousse in place.
My very official stencil – a can of garbanzo beans. 10/10 would recommend.
Now that’s what I call a brownie! Thick and gooey. You can always make a much thinner brownie by using a 13×9 pan instead of an 8×8. Depends on your brownie preferences – to each their own.
I piped my mousse into the molds, so you can see the folded pipelines along the sides where it firmed up and didn’t blend together. Next time, I’ll be more strategic about my piping. Maybe making a spiral pattern in the mold? TBD.
Add a garnish of holly leaves from the garden (wash em first and don’t spear yourself – they’re ridiculously sharp) and ta-daa!
I can’t wait to swap up the flavors and thickness of mousse layers. So many possibilities out there. Happy munching!
Recipe inspiration from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/triple-chocolate-brownie-mousse-stacks