If you are looking to impress that special someone (or a group of close friends) this is the recipe for you! This Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse is not only an impressive dessert, but it tastes like chocolate heaven and is really easy to pull together. This recipe is best made the day before you want to serve it so that it can really firm up and keep all those air bubbles, just like a mousse should.
Prep Time: 60 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Total Time: 60 minutes
- 7 oz. (~1 cup) high quality dark chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1 cup whipping cream, cold
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon fresh coffee (or espresso), cooled
- 4 oz. dark chocolate chips, melted (take from the melted chocolate in previous step)
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
First, begin by melting the chocolate and butter over a double boiler until the chocolate is fully melted. A double boiler is simply a bowl placed over the mouth of a pot that has about an inch of simmering (not boiling) water in it. You want to make sure that your bowl is not touching the water at all, or else the chocolate can burn. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the pot and whisk in the Nutella. The Nutella will help the chocolate cool down before adding the rest of our ingredients.
While the chocolate is cooling, make the whipped cream. Remove the whipped cream from the fridge and add it to a large bowl. Use a whisk or electric beaters to whip it up on high speed until “stiff peaks” form. Once they have formed, place the bowl of freshly whipped cream in the fridge to keep it cool.
At this point, if you are planning on using the whisk or electric beaters again, make sure to wash your beaters very well with soap and water and dry them completely. Any trace of fat from the whipped cream in with the egg whites will prevent them from whipping properly in the next step.
Next, whip the egg whites. The egg whites must be at room temperature or else they will not mix well and must be very fresh! I Add the egg whites to a large bowl and begin to whip them until they begin to get foamy on top. Once that happens, add the sugar and beat the egg whites on high speed until they become opaque and form “stiff peaks”- just like the whipped cream. Set the bowl aside.
At this point the chocolate mixture should be cool. Add the cold coffee and egg yolk to the chocolate mixture and mix to combine.
Now let’s get to combining shall we? Or shall I say, let’s get to folding!
Take a scoop of the freshly beaten egg whites and add it into the chocolate mixture. Use a whisk to incorporate it fully until there are no streaks of white. The egg whites will work to lighten up the denser chocolate base, which will make it easier to fold in the egg whites. Next, use a rubber spatula to scoop half of the remaining egg white mixture into the chocolate and fold in the egg whites. “Folding in” refers to a technique used to lightly incorporating two ingredients together. To fold, simply use the edge of the spatula to cut through the centre of the bowl, turn the spatula and lift the mixture up and over itself back to the centre. Rotate the bowl ¼ of a turn and continue to fold in the egg whites until there are a few white streaks left. Next, add in the whipped cream in the same manner, half a bowl at a time until there are no white streaks left. The mixture should be light and airy and should almost fill up your bowl at this point!
Lightened up chocolate base
Chocolate, egg whites and whipped cream
Finally, use an ice-cream scoop or a smaller measuring cup (1/2 to 1/3 cup) to fill your bowls up with mousse.
Once all the bowls are filled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Letting the mousse set overnight is best so that it gets firm and stays light and airy.
When you are ready to serve, remove the mousse cups from the fridge, top with an extra dollop of whipped cream and some Chocolate Bark (see below).
For the Chocolate Bark:
Melt the 4 oz. of chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, scoop out the chocolate and place it on a parchment-lined baking tray. Use an offset spatula (or the back of a large spoon) to spread out the chocolate so that it is about 1-2 millimeters thick. While it is still warm, sprinkle over the toasted hazelnuts. Use a spoon to drizzle over any remaining chocolate for a nice decoration.
Let the bark chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until hardened. Break the chocolate bark into pieces and top the Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse with it before serving.
You can also use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I find that it is best to warm the cookie cutter in some hot water, dry it off then quickly cut out the shape in the chocolate. Then let the shapes cool in the refrigerator and top the mousse with them before serving.