Callie’s Cabin: On top of chocolate mousse (recipe)
Welcome to chocolate mousse — a rich and decadent French delight. This sophisticated dessert is incredible when ordered at a restaurant. Yet, making it yourself can be tricky. Some recipes use raw eggs which make me think twice of the risks without baking it.
A few years ago, I made chocolate mousse with instant chocolate pudding, milk and real chocolate bits. It was doable. This time around, I switched it up and used the right ingredients and enjoyed the right texture. The best part, it’s easy and fast to make and you can give it a healthy kick, too.
When putting together this do-over chocolate mousse, it took me back in time when I stayed at South Shore decades ago. I was young and in love. One day frolicking and sunbathing on the beach and running into the water with my significant other chasing me (like a scene out of Hallmark channel movie), we came across an ice cream shop. I chose a creamy chocolate vanilla chip ice cream cone. It was heaven scent. When the tall, tanned girl scooped the speckled ice cream she looked at me and our eyes met.
I said, “One day, I’m going to live here.”
I’ll never forget her smile when I walked away waving goodbye. She recognized my infatuation with the resort town and sweet dessert. I was hooked.
This new version of the memorable chocolate vanilla dessert takes me back to that special day when I fell in love with Lake Tahoe — the lake, trees, wildlife and four seasons. And, of course, I want to share it with you.
Chocolate Vanilla Mousse
1 cup Cool Whip whipped topping, creamy (or use real whipping cream)
½ cup cream cheese, whipped
½ cup sour cream
1 capful pure vanilla extract
2-2 ½ tablespoons premium unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ cup whipped cream (Cool Whip or real whipped cream)
¼ chocolate bar (milk or dark), grated for garnish
½ cup strawberries, fresh, sliced (or blackberries)
Mint leaves, fresh (garnish and optional)
In a mixing bowl combine whipped topping, cream cheese and sour cream. Once creamy, add vanilla, cocoa powder and sugar. Spoon into ½ cup ramekins (I used oval shaped ones) or small glass parfait glasses. Put into refrigerator for one hour. Frost with whipped cream. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Add strawberries on top or on the side. Serves two to four (more berries, less mousse). *Chocolate cream and/or whipped cream are good for piping to provide a fancier look.
This semi-homemade chocolate mousse is yummy but portion control is a must, for its sugar, fat and calories. It’s rich and thick like cheesecake but the fluffy whipped cream on top offers a lighter taste that’s perfect paired with the chocolaty flavor and tart berries. It is a romantic adventure, a bit like the first time visiting Lake Tahoe, falling in love and appreciating the essence of chocolate vanilla ice cream.
Motto: New food and places can give you a fresh outlook on life and often end up being experiences you want to relive.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.