So, I got all kinds of confident after my layer cake success for my last post and decided, “what the heck! – I’m going to make pretty chocolate eggs with some kind of super yummy filling in them for Easter”! Keep in mind that I had never tempered chocolate, nor had I ever used a candy or chocolate mold. We’ll call it a learning experience…. At the end of a full day, I completed this delicious White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Eggs treat.
I have to say, that I’m really happy to have learned the process for tempering chocolate and know that it’ll be valuable in my future candy making adventures. If you don’t feel like you’re up to the challenge of molding chocolate and filling it with mousse, you can just make the super easy and wonderfully delicious white chocolate mousse and serve it in pretty glasses with a few raspberries and/or shaved chocolate on top. It looks elegant and tastes like you spent hours on it. Happiest of Easters, everyone!!
- 12 ounces dark chocolate (I used Guittard bittersweet) Do NOT use chocolate chips.
- 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
- Using a large, sharp knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces, about the size of a pea. Divide the chocolate; 8 ounces into a medium glass bowl, and 4 ounces in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Put the medium bowl of chocolate (8 oz.) into the microwave and melt on high in 20 to 25 second increments, stirring until it is melted and with a temperature of 115° to 118° F. When the chocolate is almost melted, reduce your microwave time to as little as 5 seconds so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Begin “seeding” the melted chocolate by adding the chocolate pieces in the small bowl (4 oz.), a little at a time, gently stirring until they are completely melted. Stir and seed until the temperature of the chocolate is 88° to 91° F, and the seeding pieces are fully melted.
- Your chocolate has now been tempered. Use the chocolate in its tempered range. If it begins to cool, you can microwave it at half power to bring it back up to temperature. Alternatively, you can place the pan of chocolate on a heating pad turned to low; place a towel on top of the heating pad. Check the temperature of the chocolate frequently to insure that it stays in the recommended temperature range.
- To “build” the chocolate eggs, simply follow the instructions on the mold package. I found mine here, but you can find all kinds of chocolate molds on-line that will work just as well.
- Using a sharp knife, cut “holes” in the top of each chocolate egg half, so that when you glue them together with more chocolate it leaves a hole in the top of the egg for the mousse to be piped into.
- Place white chocolate in a large glass bowl. Add ⅓ cup heavy cream and microwave until melted and smooth. Heat in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between. Allow to cool until it reaches room temperature.
- In a large, chilled bowl beat the remainder of the heavy cream with either a stand or hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture and whisk by hand until smooth. Add half of the remaining whipped cream, folding gently until combined. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until combined and smooth. Chill the mousse for about 2 hours, or until set.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the mousse and carefully fill each chocolate egg through the hole you left on top.
- Sprinkle with chocolate shavings or top with a couple of raspberries.
If you are a lover of chocolate, then you are, no doubt, familiar with Chocolate Truffles and for some of us chocoholics, there are times when only a truffle will satisfy. There’s a reason why they’re a go-to gift at so many holidays and well…any time, really.
There are so many outstanding flavor options to try with a chocolate truffle base, that I had a hard time narrowing it down to just the three flavors featured here. There’s hazelnut, raspberry balsamic (this one’s soo good!), and the ever popular mint. I’m not just saying this – I love them all! As an experiment, I added a sprinkle of matcha powder on top of the mint truffles and a pinch of cinnamon on the raspberry balsamic; both were very complementary to their primary flavors.
I should mention that the chocolate mixture ingredients make enough ganache for one flavor of truffle. If you want to make each flavor you’ll need to start the recipe from the beginning each time. If you’re like me and running a wee bit behind at this crazy-busy time of the year, truffles make wonderful last minute holiday gifts… Happiest of holidays, everyone!
- 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Pinch of sea salt (I used Fleur de Sel)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut, peppermint, and raspberry liqueur (for each flavor of truffle)
- ¾ teaspoon hazelnut extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ⅛ teaspoon raspberry extract
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped, roasted hazelnuts (skins removed)
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, melt together the chocolate chips, whipping cream, butter, and salt, stirring constantly until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the honey. Add liqueur and extract in the amounts noted in the ingredient list above for each flavor of truffle.
- Pour the ganache into an 8-inch square baking pan and transfer to the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and with a teaspoon, scoop/scrape out balls.
- With your hands, roll the chocolate into round shapes and place them on the lined baking sheet.
- After you have formed all the ganache into spheres, return them to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Place the cocoa powder and chopped hazelnuts in separate shallow bowls.
- For the hazelnut truffles: Simply roll the chocolate round in the chopped nuts until completely covered, then roll between your hands until the shape becomes more uniformly round. Place on a serving plate or seal in a plastic storage container.
- For the mint truffles: Roll the chocolate ball in the cocoa powder, covering completely; shake off the excess, then roll between your hands until you have a more uniform ball shape. Place truffle on your serving plate or in a storage container and sprinkle the tops with a pinch of matcha powder.
- For the raspberry balsamic truffles: Roll the chocolate round in the cocoa until completely covered; shake off excess cocoa powder, then roll between your hands until the shape becomes more uniformly round. Place on a serving plate or in a storage container and sprinkle tops with a tiny pinch of cinnamon.
- Once done, chill the truffles until set, about 30 minutes, before eating.
If it were possible to cancel out the calories, I’d eat chocolate ice cream everyday in the Summer! Reality being what it is, I only indulge once a week. This Chocolate Orange ice cream, however, is completely worth the twinge of guilt from an indulgent mid-week scoop! Adding orange to the chocolate was a bit of a “risk” for me, because I’m a purist with my chocolate ice cream, but I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased to discover that this is a whole new way to love the chocolate frosty stuff! I adapted this recipe from Barefoot in the Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Orange Ice Cream into a no-churn recipe making it especially easy to enjoy. And if you want to adapt this recipe further, and don’t care for dark chocolate, just substitute milk chocolate for the dark. Voila! Also, if you prefer to leave the liqueur out, you can certainly do so, the cream will just be a bit harder. There you have it – an easy and cool way to get your summertime chocolate fix. Ahhh!
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup special dark unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until the chocolate chips are melted. Whisk in the next 4 ingredients (cocoa through orange zest); bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the orange juice and vanilla extract. Let cool, stir in the orange liqueur and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- In a large chilled bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined (you shouldn’t be able to see any whipped cream streaks).
- Pour into a 2-quart container (a loaf pan works well) and cover with plastic wrap that touches the cream.
- Freeze 6 hours or until it firms completely.