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#SundaySupper: Witchy Chocolate Mousse with Culinary Fairy Dust

This week the #SundaySupper crew is filling (virtual) tantalizing trays. Think cheese platters and charcuterie. Imagine cocktails and shooters. Uncharacteristically,  being the savory-gal that I am, I opted to share a dessert. But since this dessert has to be served in mini portions - it's potent and decadent - and because it's jaw-droppingly delicious, I decided it was my pick for the event. Here's one of my friend's reactions when I put them out on the table for one dinner party a few years back. It's one of my favorite candid reactions to something I've made.


About the name of my dish: 'Witchy.'  It's spiked with Liquore StregaLiquore Strega, Witches' Brew, is an Italian herbal liqueur whose bright golden hue comes from the presence of saffron in its formulation.  I remember when I first saw the sunny bottle on a shelf at a bar in Rome.  The bartender let me taste it and when I asked what was in it, he answered: "Tante cose, ma il colore viene da il zafferano." [Many things, but its color comes from saffron.]

Saffron, mint, fennel, and almost seventy other herbs are blended together to make this liqueur.  I was immediately smitten.

About the second part of the name: 'Culinary Fairy Dust.' That's what I think of fennel pollen. It adds something magical to any dish. I have folded it into my La Fée Verte Olive Oil Shortbread, added it to my Roasted Fennel & Cannellini Dip, and garnished my End-of-Days Bloody Orange Mary with it. It's magic I tell you. Magic!

I typically like my chocolate mousse naked.  Minds out of the gutter, please! I don't like to eat chocolate mousse while unclad, though I've never tried that. I could like that, but what I meant to say is that I like to eat my chocolate mousse plain...with no toppings.  I have so many rich flavors at play in my mousse - with espresso and liqueur - that unadulterated seems best - just the mousse and a spoon. 

But every now and then I come across something, a flavor, that speaks to me.  And when I smelled fennel pollen, it said, "Sprinkle me on top of chocolate mousse!"  Just to be clear, food doesn't actually talk to me.  I don't hear little voices in my head.  But I do have bursts of culinary inspiration and for my canister of fennel pollen, chocolate mousse was it.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate
  • ½ C espresso
  • ½ C Liquore Strega*
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 C anise-infused heavy cream**
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 8 egg whites
  • pinch of pink Himalaya salt


Procedure
Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or bain marie over low heat. Stir in the espresso and liqueur. Cool to room temperature. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time.Whip the cream until thick. Gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the cream. Fold the egg white-whipped cream mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour into individual serving glasses and refrigerate for – at least – 2 hours before serving.


*If you do not have any Liquore Strega - it is available through BevMo! - Sambuca or Galliano make fine substitutes.

**To make the anise-infused heavy cream, put 1 T of anise seeds into cold cream and let it infuse while you are melting the chocolate.

Once the mousse has set, top with a dollop of unsweetened whip cream.  Dress it up with a dusting of fennel pollen.
Here's what the rest of the crew shared...

Savory Bites:
Sweet Treats:


Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

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Comments

  1. Oh my... what a fantastic dessert! Who knew chocolate mousse could be taken to such a delightful level. Love the name of this recipe too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Renee. It IS fantastic. Hope you'll try it.

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  2. Such extraordinary flavors! Truly a palate pleaser in each yummy bite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Liz. Can't wait to work my way through all of the yummy posts.

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  3. Just added Strega and fennel pollen to my shopping list !

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  4. Thank you for the intro to Liquore Strega and fennel pollen fairy dust! You have elevated mousse and I'd love a bite (or 2 or 3...!)

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  5. As long as this has no signs of black licorice flavor like fennel usually does, I'm in!

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  6. I can see why you serve these in small portions - so decadent! I want one though... :)

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  7. Just the name was enough to get me excited, but just seeing the ingredients was...wow! An awesome combo, and I love espresso flavors so much. Thanks for sharing!

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