Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse Cups

Valentine's day is just around the corner. Whether you forgot/were too lazy to remember to buy your honey a gift and are frantically searching for a way to make up for it (like me. heh.), or you're single and looking for something to snack on with the girls while you indulge in some sweatpants and a corny chick flick, I've got you covered. 

I actually don't really need to worry about a Valentine's gift for Samuel this year. The other day we were in the car and Samuel pulled in to the grocery store and said, "I'll be right back, I just need to grab a couple things."

He came back with a party size bag of Reese's Cups and two dark chocolate Lindt candy bars. He immediately tore open the bag and began devouring the Reese's. 

"What!?" he said to my speechless face, "It's for Valentine's day!" 

Fair enough. How could I complain?

I did actually make these for Samuel, considering that mousse is his most requested dessert.

But, then I remembered... the last time he asked for mousse, I was too lazy too go all out, so I attempted to make it in the microwave. Of course, the eggs yolks cooked too fast because I didn't temper them. That night, we enjoyed a nice fluffy mousse full of tiny bits of scrambled eggs yolks floating throughout. 

"It's too soon," Samuel said, regretfully surveying these perfect mousse cups and recalling that unfortunate event a few months ago.

And yet, even that couldn't keep him completely away, and he did happily eat his cup or two.

Now, I usually don't post iPhone photos, but here is one I snapped for Instagram that you guys went crazy about last week. I wanted to share it here so you can see what the texture is like if you are patient enough to let it completely set (which I was not when I photographed them). 

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    • Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse Cups
    • Makes about 6 servings 
    • Adapted from this Perfect Chocolate Mousse Recipe
    • (to save you a little confusion, you will need 2 1/3 cups heavy cream for this recipe)

    • For the cups:
    • Muffin liners (I used jumbo, but regular would work too and just make a few more smaller cups)
    • About a cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate 

    • For the mousse:
    • 4 egg yolks 
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used these dark chocolate chips, but you could also try milk chocolate, semi-sweet, etc.)
    • 1 more cup heavy cream

    • For the caramel:
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 3 tablespoons salted butter
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    • For Topping:
    • Chocolate curls or shaved or chopped chocolate 
    • Kosher salt or some kind of bigger salt 

    • Directions:

    • Melt the chocolate for the cups (I like to turn the microwave down to 50% power and cook the chocolate in the there, stirring ever 30 seconds until melted). Place 6 jumbo muffin liners into a muffin tin (I just used a regular muffin tin because that's what I had and it worked, but a jumbo one would probably work better). Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into each liner and use a small paintbrush (a small spoon would work alright too) to spread it about 3/4 of the way up the sides, making sure you have a thick coat everywhere. Allow to harden completely (put them in the fridge or freezer if you like) and then peel away the liner. 

    • Whisk the egg yolks together and slowly add the sugar. Whisk until well combined.

    • Heat 1 cup cream with the vanilla, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until very hot (not boiling). Slowly stir at least half of the hot cream into egg yolk mixture (this is so you don't accidentally make scrambled eggs). Now stir the whole egg/milk mixture back into the pot. 

    • Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly, but does not boil (it should reach 170ºF if you have a thermometer you can stick in there). 

    • Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Cover and refrigerate about 1-2 hours just until chilled. You can also throw it in the freezer to save time. You just need it cool so that it won't melt the whipped cream that you will fold in later.

    • Now is the time to make the caramel. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. You will see it begin to brown, now is the time to stir constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until it reaches a rich dark caramel color. Add the butter and cream and stir until it is all well combined and smooth (it will bubble up!). Add the salt and vanilla. If it is still lumpy, return to heat and stir until the lumps melt. Set aside to cool.

    • Once the mousse mixture is cool, beat the additional cup of cream in chilled bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Whisk a spoonful or two of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it up, then fold all of the whipped cream in. 

    • Now, time to assemble. Spoon about a tablespoon of the caramel into the bottom of each chocolate cup (if it has gotten too thick, just warm it up a little, but don't get it too hot or it will melt your chocolate cup). Now spoon the mousse into each cup. Drizzle the remaining caramel over the tops and sprinkle with kosher salt and chocolate curls or shavings. 

    • Can be eaten immediately, but best to refrigerate another 4 hours so that they set and thicken up. Enjoy!