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Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups

11 Feb

Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate CupsNo hallmark card can say “I love you” like a homemade sweet treat for your sweetie! This easy, elegant and delectable recipe, features just in time for Valentine’s Day to help you express your true feelings for that special someone.

Nothing spells romance like chocolate and strawberries and this dessert marries both these ingredients.Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups The star this Valentine’s Day is creamy white chocolate, perked up with an underlying hint of fresh strawberry juice. If you prefer raspberries, you can entirely substitute the strawberries with raspberries. Setting this mousse in chocolate cups (the perfect aphrodisiac) creates a patisserie equivalent masterpiece. All you need with these is a bottle of bubbly and it won’t be long before you are showing that someone special how you feel ….in more ways than one! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups
Recipe Adapted from Le 15 Patisserie’s Chocolate Lover’s Class
Time: Active: 30 minutes Inactive: 3 hours (setting time)
Yield: 14-16 shot glasses

Ingredients:
6 oz of white baking chocolate
3 oz whole milk
3 tablespoons, freshly squeezed strawberry juice (See note)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature (See note)
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
7.5 oz heavy-whipping cream
Dark or milk chocolate cups or cases, store-bought (See note)

Garnish:
Chopped strawberries
Milk or dark chocolate shavings

Notes:

  • Place a handful of strawberries in a blender and puree them. Place this puree in a sieve and use a spoon to press the fresh juice through the sieve. Keep the juice and discard the seeds and skin, leftover in the sieve.
  • The eggs must be at room temperature to get the most volume out of the whites when you beat them. Make sure the egg whites have no traces of yolk in them.
  • Most large grocery stores, gourmet food and party stores carry chocolate cups or cases for setting desserts in them. These can also be ordered online. If you cannot find these, just set the mousse in shot or cordial glasses and increase the amount of chocolate shavings.

Method:
1)  Create a double-boiler over the stove-top and melt the white chocolate in it. Keep stirring so that the chocolate does not burn.
2) Stir in the milk and strawberry juice into the melted chocolate and set aside.
3) In a separate bowl, stir the lemon juice into the egg whites. Turn on a hand-held electric mixer or an electric stand mixer on low, and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the chocolate mixture carefully into the eggs whites. Be careful to not deflate the air volume that has been incorporated into the egg whites.
4) In a separate bowl, using a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer on low beat the heavy-cream until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
5) Divide this mousse into chocolate cups or cordial/shot glasses and chill for at least 3 hours. You can use a piping bag to make the mousse look even fancier in the cups.
6) Just before serving garnish with chocolate shavings and chopped strawberries.

Chai Chocolate Truffles

13 Dec

Chai chocolate truffles

I have taken longer than usual to post a recipe as I was en-route to India, followed by an onslaught of jetlag and a plethora of friends and family to catch up with. Amidst all this frenzy, I am basking in the immense pampering that comes with visiting my parents’ and relishing the diverse foods of Mumbai that I so miss in DC. Not only do I miss the food, but also the importance that is placed on all meals, specifically breakfast.

Breakfasts are an elaborate affair in most Indian households, especially at my parents’ place. While the menu is ever evolving, a staple at their breakfast table is an abundance of heart-warming cups of masala chai. Masala chai is a tea drink prepared by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. The combination of spices and herbs may vary but green cardamom and ground cinnamon are common ingredients.

At breakfast, earlier this week while I was sipping contently on my second cup of masala chai my husband broached the subject of making chocolate truffles. I am always looking to switch up flavorings for chocolate truffles and the apt timing of our conversation lead to developing this chocolate truffle recipe. These luscious truffles melt in your mouth, revealing a magnificent synchronization of earthy masala chai and creamy, decadent chocolate. Try these at your own risk – you will probably pack in more truffles than you serve your friends and family!

Chai Chocolate Truffles Recipe
Yield: 24 truffles (depends on size)
Time: Preparation 30 minutes; Refrigeration 18 hours

Ingredients:
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2.5 tablespoons honey
2 black tea bags (I used Lipton Yellow Label Tea)
6 green cardamom pods, bruised
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
8 oz good quality semisweet chocolate, cut up into bite size chunks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cocoa powder for dusting (Optional)
Crushed or chopped pistachios for coating (Optional)

Method:
1) Place the bite-sized chunks of chocolates in a medium glass bowl and set aside.
2) In a medium saucepan, heat the cream along with the tea bags, cardamom pods, cinnamon powder and honey on medium-high heat, until it reaches a boil. Once it reaches a boil remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes. Squeeze the tea-bags to get all the flavor out of them. It takes about 30 minutes for the chai flavors to infuse into the cream.
3) Re-boil the cream mixture and remove from the heat once it comes up to a boil.
4) Using a mesh strainer, pour the boiling cream mixture over the chocolate chunks and let it rest for 2 minutes. Discard the teabags and cardamom pods. Use a whisk and slowly start mixing the chocolate and cream until you get a smooth mixture. It is important to do this slowly to ensure that minimal air bubbles enter the mixture.
5) Now add the butter and whisk well, till it is fully incorporated. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours.
6) Take a large bowl and fill it with cold water and ice cubes. Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator.
7) Dip your hands in the ice-bath and then dry them completely. Roll the chocolate mixture into one inch size balls. Note: I use a rounded tablespoon measure to ensure that all the truffles are even in size. I usually need to repeat the step of dipping my hands in the ice-bath and drying them 1-2 times in the middle of rolling out 24 truffles. Body heat melts the ganache and makes it difficult to form even balls. The ice bath step helps reduce this. This is a messy and tedious but extremely rewarding process.
8) Place the rolled balls in a serving platter and refrigerate for another 6 hours.
9) After 6 hours (or more) remove the chocolate truffles from the refrigerator and coat them with cocoa powder or crushed pistachios.
10) Refrigerate the chocolate truffles for at least another hour after coating them and before serving.

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