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Winner, Winner – Chocolate for Dinner!

It doesn’t get much better than a week of testing chocolate recipes and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it felt like the perfect time for a little chocolate love.  Interestingly, it was much easier to recruit recipe testers than when I was working on lentil soup week!

In the process of testing the gooey chocolate desserts , I discovered a fabulous brand of dark chocolate chips.  Aldi’s Baker’s Corner brand, at the bargain price of about $1.79 per 10oz bag, has officially stolen my heart from Ghirardelli – not an easy feat!

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My New Favorite!

After a few hours in the Kitchen up to my elbows in dark chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla, espresso powder and whipped cream a winner was crowned.

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The best ingredients.

This rich, smooth, intensely delicious Chocolate Mouse was the hands down favorite of my eager testers.  As a bonus, it’s easy enough for a weeknight meal and decadent enough for a special dinner.

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The winning Chocolate Mousse

I wish you and yours a happy Valentine’s Day and invite you to enjoy a little chocolate love too.

Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
Melt the chocolate
  1. Grab your favorite dark chocolate chips. I've discovered the Baker's Corner brand at Aldi. Delicious and a total bargain at about $1.79 a bag. (based on the ingredients and what I could find on the Aldi website, I believe they are gluten free as well)
  2. Place the 6 ounces of dark chocolate chips, the butter and the espresso powder (if using) in a glass bowl above a pan of boiling water or in a double boiler
  3. Begin to stir the mixture as it starts to melt together
  4. Stir until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture has a silky consistency - it will take 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-7 minutes
Separate and prepare the eggs
  1. Separate the egg yolks and whites into 2 medium bowls
  2. Add the vanilla to the egg yolks and whisk vigorously until the yolks are light and well mixed - about 2 minutes
  3. Add the cream of tarter to the egg whites and use a hand mixer to begin beating the eggs
  4. Once the whites begin to stiffen, slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. The whites will look nice and shiny too from the sugar.
Temper the Chocolate
  1. Take a spoonful of the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and mix it into the egg yolks and vanilla - this is called tempering the chocolate - allowing it to mix without cooking the eggs
  2. Gently stir the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture
  3. Now mix the egg yolk/chocolate mixture into the bowl containing the rest of the chocolate and stir to combine
Whip the heavy cream
  1. Pour the cream into a medium size bowl and grab your hand mixer (with clean, dry blades). I sometimes make extra to put on top of the mousse - plus who doesn't like extra whipped cream?
  2. Use the hand mixer to whip the heavy cream adding a couple tablespoons of sugar and a touch of vanilla once it begins to stiffen
Put it all together - finally!
  1. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate/egg yolk mixture. Don't mix too viciously as it will deflate the mousse
  2. Keep folding just until the egg whites are absorbed into the mixture
  3. Add the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture (it just keeps getting better doesn't it?)
  4. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mousse until it's absorbed and the whole mixture is smooth and lovely. Feel free to dip your finger in and taste - YUM!
  5. Divide the mousse into small cups or bowls and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I love to use tiny demitasse cups mostly because they are super cute. But also because a little of this rich, delicious mousse goes a long way.
  6. Serve to your favorite people and enjoy! Feel free to add additional whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings to the top if you like.
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