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by on April 16th, 2011

Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Wedding Bliss!


Ok, I’m sitting here writing this blog after a long day of wedding dress shopping with my daughter and my daughter-in-law.

After a morning of shopping and my FIRST bridal shop and then lunch at Waltons Fancy and Staple (Sandra Bullock’s restaurant) we went to our second and then third bridal shops. WOW! is all I can say.

I had my first son in 1973 and then my second in 1976 and I love them dearly, but oh how I wanted a little girl who I could take shopping, curl her hair and dress up in pretty pink dresses and dream of a wedding someday when I would be able to watch her try on wedding dresses. Well, she is now a grown, beautiful young woman and is the apple of our eye and a twinkle in her fiance’s eye.

Well, this was the weekend.  It was so hard because every dress, absolutely every dress, was beautiful on my daughter. By the end of the day she had narrowed the dresses down to 2 maybe 3 dresses and I still  don’t think I could pick a favorite. I know she will be beautiful in it the day of her wedding this October.

So, what does wedding dress shopping have to to do with Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel Ice Cream? Well, after a day of shopping around Austin we went for dinner at Foreign and Domestic, a cool, new restaurant in town. Ned and Jodi have developed a neighborhood eatery that encompasses their passion for bringing inventive culinary creations to the table in an accessible sophisticated way. We sat at the bar so we could watch all the preparation and plating of the food. We started with venison tartar and chicken confit with a shellfish emulsion. Then, we split the mushroom risotto and sturgeon with a bacon foam.  It was a fabulous meal (that I didn’t have to pay for, my daughter’s treat!) So, we finished off our indulgence with a delicious chocolate mousse served in a jelly jar topped with salted caramel ice cream and toasted hazelnuts. We dug into the mousse/ice cream, finished our bottle of wine, and thoroughly enjoyed the end of a long day. Then we headed to the local video rental store and rented 27 Dresses and watched it before falling into bed exhausted by the most wonderful day of shopping ever. (My daughter ended up finding THE dress on the second shopping trip the next weekend.)

Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a comment below.

You can make the chocolate mousse or the salted caramel ice cream as separate desserts or combine them like we had it at the restaurant.   Each is delicious on it’s own or together. **See note below.

Ingredients for the mousse and the salted caramel ice cream.

Sugar starting to melt.

Starting to get golden

You want this dark amber color without burning it. So, watch carefully.

Add the cream  and the caramel will start to harden and clump up. Just keep stirring and it will remelt.

The finished ice cream. Pour into freezer type container and freeze 4-5 hours or make a couple of days ahead.

THE MOUSSE:

Melt chocolate in double boiler or put a heat resistant bowl over a pan of boiling water.

Make some espresso or use espresso powder. You will only need 2 tablespoons of espresso liquid.

Beaten eggs with the espresso.

Whipping cream has been folded into mousse in thirds.

Pour into jelly jars and chill.

Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

6 oz. semi sweet or dark chocolate I used Scharffen Berger Semisweet Dark
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. espresso coffee*
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Toasted hazelnuts (filberts)

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or very slowly in the microwave.

While the chocolate is melting, combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held mixer until very pale and thick and have doubled in size. Whisk in the espresso (or coffee liqueur).  When the chocolate has melted, whisk it into the egg yolk mixture.

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Using 1/3 of the whipped cream at a time, fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Repeat and add another 1/3 of whipped cream and then fold in the remaining 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.  Pour the mousse into individual serving dishes or use the small jelly jars like I did. Chill for one hour.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

    Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

    Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.

    Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.

    Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

    Chocolate Mousse

    Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

    Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

    Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.

    Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.

    Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

    Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

    Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

    Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.

    Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.

    Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

    Served with a couple of squares of Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate. Yum

    **Note — this dessert took me a couple of hours to make. When I make it again I will make the salted caramel ice cream several days in advance. The mousse is pretty quick to throw together and can be made the morning of the day you are serving it.

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