Chocolate Mousse with Cinnamon Cream & Chili Spiced Nuts

How’s that for a long title?  But there’s just so much I wanted you to know about this mousse at first glance.  And yet it’s also a really divinely simple dessert.

I think chocolate mousse is the perfect standby to tuck in your pocket for anytime you need to make dessert for a special occasion or special someone (including yourself!).  Everyone loves it, it’s really not that hard or time consuming to make (though it does need to chill for awhile to set), and it’s just so darn delicious.

I think the secret is pretty much out on what coffee does to chocolate.  And that is it makes it even more awesome.  Cinnamon also enhances chocolate really nicely but I sometimes find it overwhelming.  Just a dash in the whipped cream here gives that little warm cinnamon-y hint without overpowering the mousse itself.  And a sprinkle of chili-spiced nuts adds a little crunch and texture as well as another subtle spice layer.  For a really dramatic presentation, you could break the nuts into large shards and stick a big one for dipping into each mouse instead of the smaller ones I picture here.

I imagine by now you know I love a good dessert on the weekends and if you’re joining me on that train, well hop on board and enjoy a little treat to ring in March!

Chocolate Mousse with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and Chili-Spiced Nuts
Chocolate Mousse
4 egg yolks
1/4 c. brewed coffee, cooled (or 1/4 c. water and a heaping spoonful of instant coffee)
pinch of kosher salt
3 tbsp. sugar, divided
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
2 egg whites
1/2 c. heavy cream

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Chili-Spiced Nuts
1/3 c. almonds
1/3 c. cashews
1/3 c. pistachios
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. chili powder

For the mousse, combine egg yolks, coffee, salt, and 2 tbsp. sugar in a heatproof bowl (metal or ceramic).  Set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water).  Whisk constantly until the mixture lightens in color, becomes frothy, and about doubles in volume, 2-4 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the pan and add chocolate.  Whisk until melted and smooth.  Put the bowl on a rack and cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add 1 tbsp. sugar and beat on high until there are firm peaks.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form.

Fold the egg whites into the chocolate until combined, then do the same with the whipped cream.  Don’t overdo it with the folding or your mousse will lose that airy texture.  A few threads of white are fine.

Divide among six ramekins and chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to one day ahead.

For the cinnamon cream, put cream, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and beat until soft peaks form.

For the nuts, preheat oven to 325ยบ.  Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil.  Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to coat.  Spread on the baking sheet and bake until the nuts are golden and the mixture is bubbling, about 15 minutes.  Remove and cool completely on the baking sheet.  Break into large or small shards.

To serve, top each mousse with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream and garnish with the nuts.

Click here for a printable recipe.

Linking to Crafty Scrappy Happy