I confess. I am a CHOCOHOLIC, who will never recover. My love for chocolate was born out of the lack of it. Growing up in a rural, agricultural town in the Philippines years ago, our only source of chocolate was from “imported” American chocolates. It was a treat when my parents could buy Hershey’s Kisses or Nestle’s Crunch, and this only happened on special occasions.I never had Halloween candy growing up…it is an American activity. But now that I live in the USA, in a culture that is abundant in all things…well, I am in absolute chocolate heaven!
This is why when Kitchen Play, launched it’s monthly contest, with Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs, I jumped at the chance to make a fabulous Chocolate Mousse Tart. I knew it was the perfect meal ender to our family’s Memorial Day weekend grilling.
Why I Used SAFEST CHOICE Pasteurized Shell Eggs:
To quote their website : ” As we’ve seen from egg recalls, this is because eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella. SAFEST CHOICE Pasteurized Shell Eggs offer you the only FDA approved method to eliminate Salmonella in eggs.”
After reading extensive information on why SAFEST CHOICE Pasteurized Shell Eggs are the safest choice, I made it a point to have this brand in my kitchen when I got ready to make the Chocolate Mousse Tart.
Here’s a step by step preview of the recipe process :
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE TART with RUM CARAMEL SAUCE
* Recipe courtesy of Kitchen Play and Safest Choice Eggs
Active time : 1 hour
Total time : 4 hours
For the Crust
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup cashew nuts, toasted
For the Chocolate Mousse layer
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 Safest choice pasteurized shell eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon rum (optional)
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Rum Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons rum
For the Strawberry Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
whipped cream for garnish
- For the crust: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch tart pan with non-stick spray. Combine flour, cocoa, cashew nuts, sugars in a food processor. Pulse until evenly blended and cashew pieces are no larger than the size of small peas. Add until mixture is moistened and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared tart pan. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Note: to toast the cashews for the crust, spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Do not burn !
2. For the chocolate mousse filling: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, combine the chocolate, butter, rum, and water. Allow the butter and chocolate to melt, then whisk mixture until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking after each addition to combine. Add vanilla. Continue stirring until mixture is smooth and glossy again. Set aside to cool, stirring frequently with a spatula for another 5-10 minutes until just warm.
3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whip the cream to medium-firm peaks. Set aside.
4. In another clean mixing bowl, combine room temperature egg whites and salt. Using a clean whisk attachment or beaters, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. It takes a bit longer to whip pasteurized egg whites, and adding 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice will help. Slowly add sugar and beat until glossy, firm peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream onto the cooled chocolate mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula, stopping when large streaks of chocolate are visible. Add the egg whites and continue folding until just combined.
5. Pour mousse mixture into cooled cashew crust and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. For the caramel sauce: In a small non-stick saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sticking and burning. Continue cooking, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream (the mixture may violently bubble once cream is added, that’s okay). Let cool for 1 minute, then stir in the rum. Place back on medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let the caramel sauce cool slightly to room temperature.
7. For the strawberry syrup: boil together the sugar, water and strawberry slices for about 6 minutes, till liquid consistency becomes thick. Remove from fire. Cool and set aside.
8. To assemble : arrange strawberry slices with syrup in the center of the chocolate mousse. Top with a dollop of whipped creme in the center. Pour the caramel sauce over the entire mousse from the top, allowing the caramel to drizzle all over. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves and some fresh strawberries on the side.
COOK’S COMMENTS: For the crust , if there are nut allergies, try to substitute with crushed vanilla wafers. Follow the same procedure and omit nuts.
For the chocolate mousse: adding the liquor is optional. The original recipe called for bourbon in the choco mousse layer. Personal taste preferences made me omit the liquor for this layer. I decided to use rum instead, and only in the caramel sauce.
For the strawberry syrup: this is an addition of mine, and not included in the original recipe. I decided to add strawberries to introduce a complementary flavor to this decadent dessert. The whole thing was just superb.
Finally, the extra garnish of whipped creme and a sprig of mint leaves were my own idea of making the entire dessert look appealing.
Additional information on the safety of egg ingredients can be found on the Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs site.