Impress your Valentine's Day dinner date with a rich, decadent, multi-layered chocolate mousse for dessert.
- 1¼ cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
- 9 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups 66 percent cacao chocolate, preferably Valrhona
- 1/2 cup 40 percent cacao chocolate, preferably Valrhona
- 1¼ cups (3 sticks) butter
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup 40% cacao chocolate, preferably Valrhona
- 2¾ cup praline paste or chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1¾ cup feuilletine or crisp rice cereal
- 3/4 cup 66 percent cacao chocolate, preferably Valrhona
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 vanilla bean, split
- 1/2 cup caramelia chocolate, preferably Valrhona
- 1 sheet gelatin or 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3/4 cups cream, whipped to stiff peaks
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
- Fresh raspberries (optional)
For the chocolate mousse:
1. In a separate bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whisk eggs and sugar in on medium-high speed until light and fluffy about 7 minutes.
2. Set a small pot, with about an inch of water in the bottom, over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl over the pot of simmering water stir to combine until melted and well incorporated. Remove chocolate mixture from the heat.
3. Fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate. Then whisk milk into the chocolate egg mixture. Last, gently fold in the whipped cream.
4. Place the mousse in a piping bag and set aside.
For the praline base:
1. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Set a small pot, with about an inch of water in the bottom, over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate, praline paste and butter in a heatproof bowl over the pot of simmering water. Stir to combine until melted and well incorporated.
3. Remove the chocolate mixture from heat and fold in the feuilletine.
4. Spread the chocolate mixture onto the parchment paper. Top with a second sheet of parchment. Using a rolling pin, carefully roll the mixture to an even thickness. Place the pan in the freezer to set.
5. Once chilled, remove from the freezer. Using a round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the chocolate. Set the circles aside in the refrigerator until ready to use (save the scraps for snacking!).
For the chocolate glaze:
Set a small pot, with about an inch of water in the bottom, over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl over the pot of simmering water. Stir to combine until melted and well incorporated. Keep warm until ready to use.
For the caramelia cream:
1. In a small pot over medium heat, bring the milk, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil.
2. Remove from heat, discard the vanilla bean pod and add in the chocolate. Process the mixture with an immersion blender (or transfer mixture to a regular blender) until smooth and fully incorporated.
3. Fill a small bowl with ice water and add in the gelatin. Let sit 5 minutes to soften. Then, stir the gelatin mixture into the chocolate to incorporate. Let cool slightly then fold in the whipped cream. 4. Place in piping bag and set aside.
For the honeycomb:
1. Set a small pot with the sugar, water and honey over medium heat, stir to combine, then let simmer, untouched, until the mixture caramelizes, about 10 minutes (watch the pot carefully to make sure it doesn't burn).
2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
3. Once the sugar mixture has reached a deep golden color, remove from heat and add the baking soda. Working quickly, stir and immediately pour out onto the prepared baking sheet. Place the honeycomb in the fridge to chill.
4. Once cooled, break up the honeycomb and process in food processor to break up into pea size chunks. Reserve in an air-tight container until ready to use.
1. Place a praline circle in the base of ring mold (the same size as the cookie cutter used). Pipe the mousse to the top and level off with a spatula. Repeat with remaining praline circles and mousse. Place the ring molds in the freezer and chill until set.
2. Once frozen, glaze with chocolate glaze and place back into freezer.
3. When ready to serve, remove the mousses from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Carefully remove the mousses from the ring molds and place each in the center of the plate. Pipe three large dots of caramelia cream on top and sprinkle with the honeycomb crunch. Garnish with fresh raspberries (if using) and serve.