Dark Chocolate Mint Mousse with Crème Chantilly
It was rather distressingly brought to my attention earlier this week that I am currently missing one of the most celebrated times of year back home in the United States: Girl Scout Cookie sales. Oh, the humanity!! Two long years without a single Thin Mint cookie will send any girl into a frenzy, and I must admit I too have succumbed to the allure of the little green box. Must. Have. Cookies!!
But here in Scotland, I’m just plain out of luck. They’ve not heard of Thin Mints, and no matter how enthusiastically I rave about them, the Scots just stare at me blankly and then tersely inform me ‘cookies’ are actually called ‘biscuits’ here. So for a short while, I came to terms with yet another year gone by without the taste of my beloved mint cooki- … er, biscuits. Until, that is, I decided to transform one of my favorite recipes – Orange Chocolate Mousse – into a chocolate mint version that satisfies my craving for the original Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie in a rich and silky mousse. Result = culinary brilliance!
I used a dark chocolate purchased on a recent trip to Germany, but any store-bought version over 70% cacao will work nicely. Chocolate with lower cacao content will likely have a detrimental affect on the flavor of the mousse, so I strongly recommend splurging a little and purchasing a higher-quality bar of chocolate.
DARK CHOCOLATE MINT MOUSSE WITH CRÈME CHANTILLY
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar
2 ounces dark mint chocolate (70%+ cacao), coarsely chopped
2 tbsp high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
Dash of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
Fresh mint leaves, to serve
1. In a double broiler over medium heat, briskly whisk egg yolks and white sugar until sugar granules dissolve, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the chopped chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture and stir until completely melted. Add cocoa powder and dash of salt and stir well to fully incorporate. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent chocolate from drying. The mixture will become very thick as it cools.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip 3/4 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Whisk half of the whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture until smooth and dark streaks of chocolate disappear, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold remaining whipped cream into chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Transfer to serving dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
4. To make crème Chantilly, combine remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream, vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip until soft peaks form. Spoon atop set mousse and garnish with fresh mint leaves to serve.