Ryan's birthday was last weekend. The big 2-8! I was a bit stumped when it came to an appropriate dessert for the birthday dinner. The obvious answer was to bake a cake, but since it's just the two of us, we're trying to eat less sweet stuff, and his grandmother had baked a wonderful cake the weekend before I wanted to do something different. Importantly, something that wouldn't linger for a week and inevitably result in at least an extra pound because, seriously, who can throw leftover cake out? A chocolate mousse of sorts seemed to be the right answer. I spent a few minutes googling for recipes and ultimately went to my own recipe box in search of a recipe my mom had given me instead. The reason? Uncooked or questionably cooked eggs freak me out and most mousse recipes out there call for eggs that fall in to those categories. Having witnessed Ryan's bout with food poisoning last year, I tend to be extra careful with eggs, chicken, other meats, etc. so those recipes weren't doing it for me. The recipe I have uses unflavored gelatin to firm up a smooth mixture of cocoa, sugar and heavy cream. The best thing about this recipe is that it's totally modifiable. I added coffee to this one, but you could add a liqueur, other flavoring or nothing at all and it will still be delicious.
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin 1 tbsp. cold water 1 c. heavy cream, very cold 1 tsp. vanilla extract 4 tbsp. white sugar 1/4 c. Hershey's cocoa powder 2 tbsp. boiling water 2 tbsp. dark brewed coffee 2 tbsp. shredded coconut for topping (optional)
Directions 1. In a small bowl combine the tbsp. of cold water with the unflavored gelatin. Mix and let sit while you complete step 2. 2. In a mixer using the whisk attachment beat the heavy cream, vanilla extract, white sugar and cocoa powder until stiff peaks form. 3. Add the boiling water to the mixture in step 1 and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. The mixture should be slightly yellow, but clear. 4. Add the gelatin mixture from step 3 to the mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. 5. Add the 2 tbsp. of coffee and combine thoroughly. 6. Divide in to 4 serving dishes or cups. I like to use stemless martini glasses. 7. Top with coconut and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.