salted caramel chocolate mousse

(Serves 6 heaping portions, or 12 small finishes to a lovely meal)

Thanks to the intense chocolate flavor with salted caramel notes, a little love goes a long way with this rich mousse. It has no issues flying solo but wouldn't mind being paired with a sprinkling of smokey sea salt or the Blood Orange - Grand Marnier Whipped Cream recipe below.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
7 oz dark chocolate, chopped into 1/2
     inch pieces
6 eggs, separated

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup blood orange juice (from approx. 2         oranges)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur


Combine the water and sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As the mixture begins to bubble and edges start to darken, watch carefully to make sure it caramelizes evenly. Otherwise, adjust the pan so that the heat is distributed evenly or give the mixture a very gentle stir to prevent burning.

Continue to cook until the mixture is a deep amber color. Remove it from the heat. Whisk in the cream gradually, followed by the butter.

Add the chocolate. Give it a stir, then allow it to sit for one minute so the chocolate melts. Stir to combine melted chocolate into the caramel, transfer it to a large bowl and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.

While the chocolate caramel mixture is cooling, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric mixer.

Mix the egg yolks into the chocolate caramel. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture and transfer it to a large serving bowl or divide it into individual containers.

Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Make a simple syrup by combining the blood orange juice and granulated sugar in a small sauce pan and bringing it to a boil.  

Once all of the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat. Add the Grand Marnier. Turn the heat back on until you reach a brief simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Once the simple syrup has cooled, whip the cream to soft peaks using an electric mixer. With the mixer still running, slowly add the simple syrup.

Dollop onto the mousse and enjoy.

View related blog post:   Kokoro...Gifts from the Heart