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Ten-Minute Chocolate Mousse

An ideal gift for any practicing chocoholic, this unbelievably easy dessert is everything a perfect chocolate mousse should be: dense and rich with a superbly silken texture. All that perfection takes only 10 minutes, and the finished product freezes beautifully. If frozen solid, the mousse will survive the perils of delivery unscathed.

This recipe will make 2 gifts, each serving 4 if your recipient is inclined to share it (by no means a sure thing). You will need to decide on containers before you begin, and you have several options to consider. Simple white ramekins can be purchased inexpensively in several sizes from major discount stores; while these are the most suitable, they may push the budget a bit. Glass or plastic jars will also work and should cost less. Simple white-paper ice cream cartons are the least expensive option and one of the most attractive, but they can be difficult to find. I have located a good source online, and the standard delivery parcels usually go out the day they are ordered.

Overall prep time: 4 hours
Active prep time: 10 minutes
Shelf life: 1 week refrigerated in a tightly covered container
Makes 8 servings

Ten-Minute Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup brandy, rum, or Triple Sec
  • ΒΌ cup very strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream or heavy cream

 

Directions:

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, without stirring. Once the mixture begins to boil, cover the pan and very slightly lower the heat. Continue to boil for 6 minutes, or until the bubbles are thick and slow and the consistency is slightly syrupy.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips and the eggs in the bowl of a food processor and process them for 25 seconds. Add the brandy, coffee, and vanilla to the bowl of the food processor. Process the mixture, then continue to run the machine while you carefully pour the boiling sugar syrup through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream. Continue to process the mousse base until it is very smooth and shiny.
  3. Pour the mousse base into a large mixing bowl. Return the work bowl to the processor base, pour in the cream, and process until the cream is thick but not stiff. It should have the same consistency as the chocolate mixture. Pour the whipped cream on top of the chocolate mixture and use a rubber spatula to fold the cream gently into the chocolate until there are no streaks of white. Pour the mousse into two or more containers and place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Once the mousse has set, tightly cover the containers and return them to the freezer until you are ready to assemble and deliver the gift. Allow the frozen mousse to thaw for 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

 

Wrapping It Up

Your decoration will depend on the container you have chosen. Ramekins can be covered with large circles of white parchment paper, which can be held in place with silver or white elastic gift cord. Jars can be covered with a wide band of glassine paper, while the white lidded cartons can be wound with paper ribbon knotted tightly over the center of the lid and finished with either a flouncy or a simple bow.

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