Dark Chocolate Mousse – is a sweet comfort when life moves at a pace faster than we can handle. The orange perks me up; the lovely sunshine color and its perfume, especially when paired together with dark chocolate, defines dessert at its best.
On a day when the sky was a gray, and the mind was overwhelmed, I needed the comfort in these creamy fluffy sinful cups. It is alright to indulge sometimes, I told myself. It is all about being happy.
It seems to me that the Spring arrived overnight. May be I was too tied up to notice the subtle changes. The trees around our yard are in glorious bloom again. And it feels good to wake up in the morning when the sky starts to light up. Creeping out of the blanket at the scream of the alarm clock when the entire world seems asleep is not my thing to do; yet I keep on doing that day after day, packing lunch and making breakfast in the half sleep mode till I take that first sip of the strong black coffee. The brain starts to tick, the rush and the day begins.
Last week as I was driving my little one to the preschool, I told her to look out of the car and see the trees which did not look so dry anymore. They were pale white and pink, the buds ready to burst open at the slightest sway.
Later in the day, while I was driving down the same road to pick her up, I got a strange feeling, as if I was not going the right way. Something felt different. The buds had burst open! The roads looked dreamy and whimsical with the fully blossomed trees lined up on both sides moving gently with the breeze – all in a couple of hours time.
Chocolate mousse is also a great dessert for entertaining. It can be served in individual cups, is quick to made and the best part is that the mousse has to be made ahead of time, as it needs enough time to chill.
When you are ready to serve, the dessert is all ready too. The soft, luscious creamy texture is hard to resist and the orange in it makes it ever so special.
Orange Scented Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
Ingredients: (makes 8-10 individual cups)
- 6 oz mascarpone cheese
- 400 ml heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups chopped semi sweet/dark chocolate
- zest of one large orange
- 1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur- Grand Marnier/Triple Sec/Cointreau etc (may be substituted with 2 teaspoons orange blossom water or 1 teaspoon orange extract)
- lightly toasted almonds or hazelnut to garnish
- orange slices to garnish (Optional)
In a non reactive heat proof bowl, combine chocolate and 5 tablespoons heavy cream. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (I melted the chocolate in the microwave; heat for about 30-45 seconds). When you see the chocolate just starting to melt, take it away from the heat and stir it till all of the chocolate is melted, smooth and shiny and well combine with the cream. It will be be thick enough to densely coat a spoon. Cool to room temperature.
Beat the mascarpone cheese for a minute or until it is loosened and is smooth.
Beat sugar and cream till soft peaks form. Do not over beat. Gently fold in the the orange zest. Fold in the melted chocolate and the mascarpone, and whisk for about a minute or till everything is well combined. Tip in the orange liqueur (or blossom water or extract) and fold it in.
Spoon over into to individual cups and refrigerate to chill at least for 3-4 hours. Overnight is good too. The consistency of the mousse will get denser as it chills.
Garnish with chopped/sliced nuts and orange slices.