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.
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.
**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.