They say the key to a man’s heart is food. Well, last night I completely spoiled my boyfriend; or tortured, if you consider I made him cook with me for 3+ hours. I must say he really is a great sui chef… even though he put the cake in the oven sans flour the first time, and thinks dividing eggs is rocket science. Aside from his kitchen, uhh, “skill”… he’s an ace at eating, loves (or pretends to!) my food and redbox’d Ghost for post-cooking, which counts for something. Please enjoy the following recipes for Chilled Chocolate and Espresso Mousse, Espresso and Mint Creme Cake, and Grasshopper Coffee.
Chilled Chocolate and Espresso Mousse (from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible)
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate (I prefer Giardelli)
- 3 tbsp brewed espresso
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 eggs, separated
- for chocolate cups: another 8 oz semisweet chocolate
- optional decorations: mint spriggs, marscapone, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, whipped cream; be creative!
1. For each chocolate cup, cut a double thickness 6 in. square of foil. Mold it around an orange. Remove the orange and press the base of the foil case on the work surface to make a flat base. Repeat. The recipe calls for 4, but I ended up having a lot of leftover mousse and would recommend making 6.
2. For the cups, place chocolate in a bowl set over hot water. Stir occasionally until melted. Be sure to scrape the edges so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
3. Spread the chocolate around the inside of the foil cups. I used a kitchen brush, but a spoon will be fine. Chill for 30 mins or until set hard; I’m impatient and put them in the freezer. GENTLY peel away the foil (I kinda messed this up).
4. For the mousse, put the chocolate and espresso into the same bowl you used for the cups. Melt over a pot of hot water as before. When smooth and liquidy, add the butter, a little at a time. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg yolks. Note: At this point, I think it’s best to refrigerate the mixture a bit before folding in the egg whites.
5. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into a bowl and chill for at least 3 hours.
6. To serve, scoop the chilled mousse carefully into the chocolate cups. Decorate to your heart’s desire and enjoy!
Espresso and Mint Creme Cake (adapted from “Coffee and Mint Creme Cake” in The Chocolate and Coffee Bible)
- 1 tbsp ground espresso
- 18 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 4 tbsp creme de menthe
- optional decorations: mint spriggs, confectioner’s sugar, sliced almonds, cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. Grease and lightly flour 2 cake pans. Baking parchment also works well.
2. Beat 12 tbsp butter, sugar, flour, almonds, eggs and espresso in a large bowl until well blended (appx. 1 minute). Divide the mixture between the two pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool a bit in the pans… or it’ll break when you try to take it out (as I found out). Then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to completely cool.
3. For the filling, cream the remaining 6 tbsp butter, confectioner’s sugar and creme de menthe together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
4. Sandwich together the cakes with the icing.
5. Decorate with mint spriggs, almonds, confectioner’s sugar, etc. before serving.
Grasshopper Coffee (adapted from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible)
- 1/4 cup creme de menthe
- 1/4 cup coffee liquer
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 1 1/2 cups hot strong coffee (I’m a Colombian kinda girl)
- 1/4 cup whipping cream (or whipped cream)
- a bit of sugar
- for chocolate bark: 4 oz dark chocolate (or 2 oz of white and 2 oz dark) and 2 tbsp creme de menthe
1. Melt chocolate bark ingredients over the stove and freeze or refrigerate until hardened.
2. Divide the liqueurs evenly between two tall latte glasses. Combine well.
3. Fill each glass with the hot coffee.
4. Whip together whipping cream and a dash of sugar until, well, you get whipped cream.
5. Top the drinks with whipped cream and chopped bark. Serve hot.